Wayne Taylor Racing: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Preview

April 28, 2015

MONTEREY, California – With a win under their collective five-point belts and having sprayed podium champagne at each of the first three races this season, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) duo of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor head up the California coast to scenic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to try and keep the momentum rolling full steam ahead during Sunday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old Ricky Taylor and 23-year-old Jordan Taylor and the entire WTR team were nothing short of dominating from start to finish two weekends ago in grabbing their first win of the season at the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) seaside street circuit. They led 73 of the 78 race laps after Ricky Taylor qualified on the pole in track-record time, and the Taylor brothers each logged their 10th career major North American sports car race victory when the checkered flag flew.

That came on the heels of an impressive runner-up finish last month at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and another thoroughly dominating run the final weekend of January in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. At the latter endurance marathon, they led a race-high 265 laps but voluntarily forfeited second place just prior to the last restart of the race with 10 minutes remaining in an effort to avoid a drive-time penalty. They still crossed the finish line third for a podium finish on the racetrack that was stricken from the record five days later when the team was served a costly penalty for the drive-time violation.

This weekend, the team heads to one of its most successful racetracks in recent years. WTR has finished on the Laguna Seca podium five times in its last six visits to the 2.238-mile, 11-turn racing jewel on the Central California coast, including a resounding victory by Jordan Taylor and veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli en route to the 2013 driver championship. Last year, the Taylor brothers led 36 tours of the circuit during the latter stages of the inaugural TUDOR Championship race there before being passed by the No. 2 Extreme Speed Motorsports LMP2 prototype of Johannes von Overbeek with 15 minutes to go and had to settle for second place.

Having shown a greater penchant for speed on race days this year, and with its head-turning qualifying performance at Long Beach two weekends ago, the team hopes it has the winning combination once again this weekend on one of its favorite stops on the tour.

Practice for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix begins Friday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 8:30 p.m. EDT Saturday with a live IMSA TV stream at IMSA.com beginning at 7:15 p.m. The green flag flies at 4:05 p.m. Sunday for the two-hour, 40-minute race with live television provided by FOX Sports 1 beginning at 4 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and the IMSA smartphone app.

 

RICKY TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:

Now that we’re two weekends removed from the big win at Long Beach, any special thoughts looking back on it and how great it might have been for you?

“It was just a great weekend from start to finish. From my perspective, it was a slight breakthrough weekend and I think it could give us a lot of momentum for the rest of the season. Getting a race win really gave us a lot of confidence moving forward.”

 

It was such a big win, but now it’s time to carry on under totally different circumstances for the natural road course and the two-hour, 40-minute race distance at Laguna Seca. How quickly do you have to switch gears, mentally, and it particularly difficult after such an impactful performance at Long Beach?

“Long beach was fast and intense, but a lot of things won’t be so different. There will still be a premium on perfect pit stops and track position. We will have to focus much more on traffic between the four classes as this will be one of the busiest races of the year.”

 

In a sense, you were “best-in-class” at Laguna Seca last year after a big win by the team there the year before. Any special thoughts about last year’s race?

“It was a tough one. We struggled through practice but found speed in the race, along with some good strategy, to put us in the lead. We just could not match the pace of the LMP2 cars at the end of the race.”

 

It’s a new year and your car seems very solid most everywhere it goes, now. Your thoughts about what you might be expecting this weekend from your car, your team, and any of the other competitors?

“The Prototype field is very condensed and extremely competitive. Every car in the field has a chance to win this weekend, so it comes down to the fine details and that is where I feel our Konica Minolta team is so strong. I feel the pace of our car should be very competitive, and qualifying well again will be key.”

 

JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:

Now that we’re two weekends removed from the big win at Long Beach, any special thoughts looking back on it and how great it might have been for you?

“I think it was a great way to get our ‘sprint’ part of the season started. Daytona and Sebring are true endurance races and we proved that we could run at the front of those races. Now that we have started the sprint races, it’s a bit of a different mentality and racing style, so you have to make that adjustment. I’m happy to see that we have the pace in qualifying and we can follow that up with the pace and execution in the race. It wasn’t an easy race to win but, putting everything together with pace, strategy, and the pit stop, we put ourselves in a position to battle for the win and that’s all we can ask for.”

 

It was such a big win, but now it’s time to carry on under totally different circumstances for the natural road course and the two-hour, 40-minute race distance at Laguna Seca. How quickly do you have to switch gears, mentally, and it particularly difficult after such an impactful performance at Long Beach?

“It’s nice to head to Laguna after our win at Long Beach. We’ve had strong runs at Laguna the past two years with a win and a second, so we have good history there. We know our car this year has the pace to compete for poles and wins. Last year, we struggled a little with outright pace, and that made the sprint races a little tougher. It’ll be a little bit of a longer race than Long Beach – more pit stops and more strategy – but, thankfully, we have the best guys for that.”

 

In a sense, you were “best-in-class” at Laguna Seca last year after a big win by the team there the year before. Any special thoughts about last year’s race?

“Last year was an interesting race. We had a pretty clean and uneventful race and ended up second. I think there was some action behind us in the middle of the race that spread everything out. The only thing I remember about last year was hitting the sand leaving turn two and running wide, which is where the ESM (No. 2 Extreme Speed Motorsports LMP2) car got by for the win. It wasn’t great at the time, but it was a good experience to learn from and understand what to do differently in the future in similar circumstances.”

 

It’s a new year and your car seems very solid most everywhere it goes, now. Your thoughts about what you might be expecting this weekend from your car, your team, and any of the other competitors?

“I think we should expect to have a similar weekend to Long Beach. Our car is definitely stronger than last year. Last year, we had good race pace but struggled a bit in qualifying. Ricky pulled out a great lap in qualifying in Long Beach to get the pole, but I think we have also improved our car for one-lap pace. With how important track position is these days, that’s exactly what we need to lead into these races.”

 

WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:

Your overall thoughts as we head to Laguna Seca this weekend?

“Well, we obviously had a great weekend at Long Beach. We have a lot of momentum throughout the team and we’re definitely looking forward to Laguna. We were second there last year, but I think we have a better car this year. We’ve just got to continue taking it race by race and let the results speak for themselves. The guys really did a great job with the strategy and on the pit stop at Long Beach, so if everyone does the same this weekend, I’m sure we can challenge for the win again. We just need to see what else happens, who else will be fast. I was a little surprised the 5 (Action Express Corvette DP) was off the pace at Long Beach, and I was a little surprised the Ford was as fast as it was – (Scott) Pruett qualified really well and they did well in the race. Looking at the data from all the races this year, we are definitely quicker than most cars, and this weekend it’s not like we’re going to the track where we’re concerned about the car. I didn’t know what we had for Long Beach and it turned out we had a great car. Last year, we weren’t entirely optimistic about Laguna Seca with the whole new body change, for which we never really seemed to get the balance right. Fortunately, we did what we did with strategy and pit stops and we figured out our balance issues by the end of the year. I think we’ll be OK this weekend. It’s so competitive. All the Corvettes are fast. Pruett’s fast. The (Michael) Shank (Racing) car is fast. I even have a feeling the Mazdas will be fast at Laguna, too. It’s going to be the usual fun weekend out there. It’s certainly one of our favorite places to go every year.”

– TSC –

Latest News

Jun 15, 2017

No. 14 Haas Automation Racing: Clint Bowyer Michigan Race Advance

Jun 15, 2017

M&M'S Red, White, and Blue Racing: Kyle Busch Cup Series Michigan Advance

Jun 15, 2017

Jimmy John's Racing: Kevin Harvick Michigan Advance

Testimonials

Working with True Speed Communication has enabled us to significantly grow brand awareness and exposure for Bass Pro Shops due to our partnership with Tony Stewart Racing. Their team works with our organization to create newsworthy events ranging from nationwide promotions to unique paint schemes and appearances by Tony Stewart and his team of celebrity short-track drivers. True Speed Communication is incredible in terms of public relations and partnership activation, whether it be in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, USAC or the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."

- John Acosta
Director of Marketing, Customer Acquisition
Bass Pro Shops