Wayne Taylor Racing: Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen Preview - Ricky & Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli

June 23, 2015

WATKINS GLEN, New York – After an eventful first half of the season, brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor welcome back veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli to the cockpit of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) as they kick off the second half of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with Sunday’s annual rite of summer – the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

The five races that made up the first half of the 2015 campaign for WTR featured a dominating victory by the brothers Taylor on the streets of Long Beach, California in mid-April sandwiched by solid runner-up finishes at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California in early May. But those three stellar efforts happened to be bookended by yet another pair of stellar efforts on-track at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and the most recent stop on the tour – the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit – that were ruined by penalties that resulted in finishes of 16th and sixth, respectively.

That brings the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette trio to Watkins Glen, where the team will begin its quest to make up a 12-point deficit in the final five races and hoist the championship trophy at season’s end. Considering the team’s remarkable consistency on the racetrack thus far, the Taylor brothers and Angelelli know their championship aspirations are entirely realistic, but there is no longer margin for error beginning this weekend at historic Watkins Glen.

In the series’ championship within a championship – the four-event Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup – the title hopes look relatively better as the standings after Daytona and Sebring show the No. 10 team second to the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with just six points separating the two. This weekend’s Watkins Glen marathon is the third event in the Endurance Cup, which winds up with the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in early October.

Watkins Glen has been relatively kind over the years to the No. 10 prototype, which has recorded an amazing 14 podium finishes in 21 appearances at the track since 2004 – including the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the track’s late-summer sprint race events. Most notable, perhaps, was a dominating performance by Angelelli and Ricky Taylor in the 2011 Sahlen’s Six-Hour. Taylor qualified on the pole and he and Angelelli went on to lead a race-high 128 of 174 laps. Taylor, then just 21 years of age, closed the deal by putting on a driving clinic in successfully holding off the relentless pursuit of veteran Scott Pruett over the final 90 minutes. Taylor and Angelelli backed up that dominating win by running away with the August sprint race at The Glen from the pole two months later.

Despite the team’s inability to win a third consecutive Detroit street race the last Saturday in May and having to settle for a sixth-place finish thanks to an avoidable contact penalty while sitting comfortably in second place with 15 minutes remaining, the Taylor brothers and Angelelli head to Watkins Glen on quite an emotional high. Just two weekends ago, Jordan Taylor joined Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in driving the No. 64 Corvette Racing C7.R to the GTE Pro-class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, fulfilling a lifelong dream at the age of 24. Needless to say, it was great cause for celebration for the Taylor family and Angelelli, and they’re certainly counting on the emotional lift to help carry them through the second half of the TUDOR Championship season, beginning this weekend at The Glen.

Practice for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen begins Friday morning. Prototype-class qualifying is set for 4:55 p.m. EDT Saturday with a live IMSA TV stream at IMSA.com beginning at 3:40 p.m. The green flag flies at 10:10 a.m. Sunday for the six-hour race with live television beginning on FOX Sports 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. FOX Sports 2 will carry the remainder of the broadcast from 2 to 4:30 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:

Your overall thoughts headed to Watkins Glen to kick off the second half of the season?

“We’ve had three really good races and other two other really good ones where rules issues really took us out of contention, but it has still been a very strong start to the season. We lacked a bit of pace at Detroit but, in the other four races, I can say we were always one of the cars to beat. It’s always nicer to have the pace, even with a little bit of misfortune, than to simply be struggling every weekend. So we can keep attacking and carrying on those strong performances and the results and points should keep coming.” 

Looking ahead to the second half of the season and our particular points situation, how important is this Watkins Glen race?

“Being an NAEC (North American Endurance Cup) event, everyone is on top of their game because there is an additional championship on the line. Also, as an endurance race, there should be a greater reward on finishing well and more points to be gained back. We will have to make zero mistakes and put pressure on the others for the entire six hours. There will be lots of traffic and plenty of opportunity for people to make mistakes. We always have a good car at The Glen and should be able to apply pressure to all of our competitors.” 

What was it like to watch your little brother have such a successful time of it with the Corvette team at Le Mans.

“Jordan winning Le Mans this year was a dream come true for our entire family, not just Jordan. We race together over here and I know how fast he is and how he deserves the results he has gotten. You never know if you will ever win Le Mans even if you are racing there for your entire career. Now, he has done it and the pressure is off, he is a Le Mans winner. It was an especially pressure-filled situation with his being the only Corvette left in the stable and they still made it happen, which was incredible.” 

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

Your overall thoughts headed to Watkins Glen this weekend to kick off the second half of the season?

“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Watkins Glen. We’ve always had a strong car at that track but haven’t had the results to show it, lately. The first half of the season was up and down. We’ve had both good and bad results, but I think the most important thing is that we’ve been competitive at every race and have been in contention to win. Heading into the second half of the year, we know we have the package to win races. We just have to keep our heads down and get the job done.”

Looking ahead to the second half of the season and our particular points situation, how important is this Watkins Glen race?

“The car has always been fast at Watkins Glen. It is a six-hour race, so a lot can happen. But, with this series now, you are flat out for the entire race. We just need to keep everything clean for the first four or five hours to fight for the win in the final hour. We need to start making some ground back in the points race.”

Any special reflections now that you’re more than a week removed from the big win with Corvette Racing at Le Mans?

“It’s still hard to put into words what I feel about the whole thing. I still find myself looking at pictures from the weekend and not believing that we actually won the race. Le Mans was always the goal. Just to race there was special, but to win it was the icing on the cake. I think for me, personally, it’s a big confidence-booster heading into the rest of our championship.”

MAX ANGELELLI, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:

Your overall thoughts headed to Watkins Glen this weekend to kick off the second half of the season?

“For us, this year it has always felt like climbing a big hill, and The Glen is still on this path. I can’t wait for the boys, Ricky and Jordan, to have some ‘relaxation’ driving rather than always being on the ‘attack’ mode. We need some driving in defense mode, which means getting to the front, staying in front, and managing the gap.”

Your overall thoughts about the first half of the season, having driven yourself in two of the five races and working behind the scenes with Ricky and Jordan and the team in the other three?

“We were extremely consistent as far as car speed and preparation. Obviously, I have a completely different views and opinions of what happened on the racetrack, where rules and regulations have come into play. This is not only regarding our No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette team, but the entire field and a lot of interesting things we’ve seen take place out there.”

Looking ahead to the second half of the season and the team’s particular points situation, how important is this Watkins Glen race

“Every race is important for what it will bring to the overall championship result. The Glen is notoriously a challenge due to several factors. It’s six hours long. Weather is always an unknown. Dealing with traffic and the rules and regulations. Does being a longer race make it better for everyone? Not always. It is 50-50 because the length of the race gives you the chance to recover from mistakes, but it also gives you the great risk of making a mistake. The beauty and the challenge of The Glen is so great that it makes all the effort worthwhile. I regard this race as one of the five I love the most in all of sports car racing. We have always been there at The Glen as a team. Last year was all on me and my mistake cost us the race. The year before, we broke the gearbox lever. So, as you can see, if we are not 100-percent focused The Glen, it is not very forgiving.”

Your thoughts about seeing Jordan and the No. 64 Corvette team have such a great result at Le Mans last weekend?

“Well, if we only focus on the result itself, this is a huge achievement for Jordan for sure and I’m very happy for him. It was very special for our sponsor Konica Minolta as they are also part of the Corvette Racing effort overall. Having worked with Jordan and Ricky since they were very young, it was a joy to see. As for Wayne and me, all that was really left for us there was to sit, drink wine and recall old glories like two old men!”

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

Your thoughts about heading to The Glen this weekend?

“Watkins Glen is the beginning of the second half of the season. For me, personally, it’s the best track on our schedule. I’ve always loved it. We’ve won it before with Ricky and Max. Ricky started and finished the six-hour, in fact. I think this is what we have to do again to try and get back into the points this year. We’ve been unfortunate. At the last race, we were passed under yellow and it wasn’t taken into account, yet we were penalized for avoidable contact. We could’ve gained a lot more points, that’s for sure, but it is what it is. Ricky is really motivated this weekend. Max is excited to race again for the first time since Sebring. Jordan is on a high from winning Le Mans. We’ll have a lot of Konica Minolta people there from their headquarters just down the road. I really love this race every year and I’m really looking forward to getting on with the weekend.”

What was it like to see Jordan win at Le Mans with the Corvette Racing team after finishing second last year?

“It was incredibly emotional, both for me and for Jordan and our whole family. It was really a day that will make a mark in your whole life. How many people get the opportunity to race at Le Mans? And how many get the opportunity to race at Le mans for a factory team and win the race. I’m very proud of Jordan and the Corvette Racing team. It was fantastic. It was a great weekend, especially considering they lost one of the two cars in practice. But as Mark Kent (Chevrolet Vice President of Marketing) said, you only need one car to win the race, and he was right. That team and those three drivers went out and made it happen by doing all the right things. I’ve been in this business a very long time and I know the utmost importance of having good teammates, and I have to say Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner were spot on with Jordan. They all worked together and they gave Jordan a lot of confidence to go out there and help get the job done, and it turned out to be just an incredible result.”

– TSC –

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is a leader in information management focused on enterprise content, technology optimization and cloud services. Our solutions help organizations improve their speed to market, manage technology costs, and facilitate the sharing of information to increase productivity. Clients trust Konica Minolta to help them envision how they can achieve their goals and deliver innovative solutions to give shape to their ideas. Konica Minolta has won numerous awards and recognition, including placement in the Leaders Quadrant of the 2014 Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Content Services (MCS). The company has also been recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys for seven consecutive years, and “A3 MFP Line of the Year” award winner from Buyers Laboratory LLC for an unprecedented four consecutive years. In 2012, Konica Minolta received “Document Imaging Solutions Line of the Year” recognition from BLI. Konica Minolta, Inc. has also been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for two years in a row. For more information, please visit www.CountOnKonicaMinolta.com and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Konica Minolta, as title sponsor, highlights Wayne Taylor Racing’s existing lineup of partners featuring Chevy Racing, Siemens PLM Software, Dallara Automobili, and OMP America.

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