Wayne Taylor, longtime owner of the sports car team that bears his name, is trying to plot a successful defense of the 2019 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA championship. When the famed endurance classic is run for the 58th time at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 25-26, Taylor will have more than the usual puzzles to solve.
For the first time ever, WTR won’t have a “Taylor” as part of their driver lineup. Wayne Taylor – also a Rolex 24 champion as a driver in his younger days – is now fielding a team without both of his hot-shoe sons, Jordan and Ricky Taylor. Jordan has departed Wayne Taylor Racing for the legendary GT organization Corvette Racing. His exit was prefaced last year when Ricky joined Roger Penske’s IMSA outfit.
“We got rid of our weak link, with Jordan,” Wayne Taylor joked at the outset of a press conference Saturday, the second day of “The Roar Before the Rolex 24” test sessions. “Now I’ll be racing against my two sons which will be great. So I’ll have to get the guys to figure a way to take them out [of the race.]”
Wayne Taylor Racing, which also won the Rolex 24 in 2017, will field the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi with a driver lineup consisting of returnees Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi joined by two former Chip Ganassi Racing drivers, Ryan Briscoe and 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon.
“The driver lineup,” Wayne Taylor said, “is as good as or better than last year.”
He may not be wrong.
To go along with his Indy 500 triumph, Dixon, is a five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion as well as being a three time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner — two of which being overall win, not just a class win too.
Kobayshi, made 75 starts in F1 and has five wins in just 29 starts in WEC to go along with winning a Rolex in last year’s race with WTR.
Then there’s Briscoe. The former IndyCar driver spent his last four years with Chip Ganassi Racing’s IMSA program where he won eight times, scored 18 podiums and eight poles in 44 tries. He won the 2018 Rolex 24 himself.
WTR not only has four Rolex 24 triumphs, they also have two wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring, three wins in Petit Le Mans and one victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans too.