Wayne Taylor Racing: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Preview - R.Taylor, J.Taylor, Angelelli, Barrichello

March 18, 2016

RICKY TAYLOR, JORDAN TAYLOR

MAX ANGELELLI, RUBENS BARRICHELLO

Konica Minolta Corvette DP ‘Fab Four’ Reunited for Full-Scale Assault

At Saturday’s Iconic Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Marathon

SEBRING, Florida (March 15, 2016) – The Fab Four rides again this weekend as the formidable No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) driver quartet of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli and former Formula 1 star Rubens Barrichello tackle another iconic sports car race – Saturday’s 64th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on the legendary Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway 3.74-mile, 17-turn road circuit.

They opened the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship together seven weeks ago with a solid runner-up finish in the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road circuit and look to go one better this weekend after their successful test at Sebring last month.

With a combined 118 sports car and Formula 1 victories, the Taylor brothers, Angelelli and Barrichello look to add one of the crown jewels in all of motorsports to their already illustrious resumes this weekend. Their relatively successful experience at Daytona and the gains made by the team Feb. 25-26 during the two-day test at Sebring are certainly reasons for optimism.

The 43-year-old Barrichello performed admirably at Daytona, as expected, despite being officially added to the lineup just two days before hitting the track for practice and qualifying. With no time to even properly fit him into the racecar, and then wet and rainy conditions that hampered practice time leading into the race, Barrichello still was quick to match the speed of his fellow WTR drivers during the twice-around-the-clock endurance marathon. He helped the team spend a race-high 152 laps in the lead before being chased down by the eventual race-winning Tequila Patron LMP2 car of Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ed Brown and Pipo Derani less than two hours from the finish. 

With just the Taylor brothers and Angelelli sharing the driving duties last year at Sebring, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP overcame highly problematic brake issues that plagued the team’s qualifying efforts and the opening hours of the race and methodically raced their way to a runner-up finish. Once the issues were finally fixed, just the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais was able to cross the finish line ahead of the No. 10 car.

This year, with an improved racecar and the addition of the popular and highly accomplished Brazilian Formula 1 star to the lineup, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP team is looking for its best effort yet in America’s oldest and longest-running sports car race.

Practice for Saturday’s 64th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring begins Thursday morning with prototype-class qualifying set for 4:45 p.m. EDT Friday carried via live video stream at IMSA.com beginning at 3:30 p.m. The green flag flies at 10:40 a.m. Saturday for the 12-hour endurance classic with television coverage as follows: FS1 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, FS2 from noon to 7 p.m.; the FOX SPORTS GO app from 7 to 10 p.m., and back to FS2 from 10 to 11 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:

We’re back for our third Sebring 12-hour after an eventful seventh-place finish in 2014 and another eventful race that still resulted in a second-place finish last year. What are your thoughts about hopefully going one better this year?

“Our thoughts this year are that we need a win at Sebring to set the tone for the season and get some valuable points moving forward. The most important thing will be having a car in good condition with an opportunity to race for the win at the end. Last year was not a clean race. We made three brake changes and were hit under yellow. Managing a second-place finish was like a win after the race we had. During the open test there last month, we made many changes and made great strides with the car setup, so I’m confident we will have even better pace than the last two years.” 

You ran this year’s season-opening Rolex 24 with fourth driver Rubens Barrichello, and you have brought back the four-driver lineup for Sebring. Your thoughts on that?

“I think Sebring is one of the most physical races of the year and we need to make sure we are as fresh as possible at the end of the race, when the race gets very intense and the drivers need to be at their very best. In addition, Rubens is an awesome addition to the team and, any time we can have him with us, it is an advantage for us. It’s been a surreal experience working with Rubens. He has been so humble and has so much knowledge that he brings to the team. He also has a great sense of humor, which goes well with the goofiness of our team, sometimes.”
 

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

We’re back for our third Sebring 12-hour after an eventful seventh-place finish in 2014 and another eventful race that still resulted in a second-place finish last year. What are your thoughts about hopefully going one better this year?

“Both years that we’ve raced at Sebring have been tough ones. Last year was especially tough with our braking issues all through practice, qualifying and the first few hours of the race. It was a real team effort to get us on the podium last year. Halfway through the race, we were last and a lap down, there was pretty much no hope, but the guys never gave up looking for a solution. Once we found that solution, we went racing and ended up with a great result considering where we had come from. We made a lot of progress with the car last month over the two-day test. The car is both quicker and more comfortable to drive. Usually, those two characteristics don’t go together, so it was a really nice surprise. This year, after our test last month, I think we are going back with the strongest car we’ve ever had at Sebring, so I can’t wait to get race week started.”

You ran this year’s season-opening Rolex 24 with fourth driver Rubens Barrichello, and you have brought back the four-driver lineup for Sebring. Your thoughts on that?

“It’s always good to be safe going into an endurance race. Sebring is the most physically demanding race on the schedule, both on car and driver, so to have someone extra there to support us will be a big help. Rubens has been great. You think about Barrichello and all you think about is his Formula 1 career and how amazing this guy is. But, as soon as he came to the team, he was just a normal guy. He’s a family man first and a racecar driver second, so he fits in perfectly. It’s nice to have his experience on the team. Having driven everything he’s driven in the past, it’s nice to hear his feedback and ideas to help us go faster.

How are you feeling, physically, after the test at Sebring since your Rolex 24 weekend setbacks?

“I’m ready to go. I’m looking forward to being back at a racetrack and feeling 100 percent again. It was a rough few weeks in January and February.”

 

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

We’re back for our third Sebring 12-hour after an eventful seventh-place finish in 2014 and another eventful race that still resulted in a second-place finish last year. What are your thoughts about hopefully going one better this year?

“I consider our second-place finish last year as a great result due to the many issues we had faced during practice and the race. We went down a lap and the car wasn’t easy to drive but our guys behind the wall made it all happen and even now I don’t know how they did it.

This year, we only need a really clean race and I’m sure we will be up there. At the test last month, we learned that our car last year wasn’t good and that our engineers were capable of improving it. It was a very productive test and kind of opened our eyes.”

You ran this year’s season-opening Rolex 24 with fourth driver Rubens Barrichello, and you have brought back the four-driver lineup for Sebring. Your thoughts on that?

“Last year, we didn’t do more than one stint at a time and I personally suffered a lot. This year’s decision is based on what happened last year and that we don’t want to find ourselves ‘uncovered.’ Rubens is a superstar. I didn’t know whether to ask him for an autograph or ask how the car was going. He is super professional and easy going – a plug-and-play driver. He is an incredible addition to the lineup.”

 

RUBENS BARRICHELLO, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:

Welcome back to the team for the second race in a row. With a lot of seat time at the Rolex 24, plus two days of testing at Sebring last month, safe to say you are feeling better prepared going into this week’s Sebring 12-hour?

“First of all, I’m so happy to be back. It’s something that I look forward to doing full-time, so to be doing it part-time right now is great to get it going and get to know the tracks and the people and so on. I am more prepared this time, definitely more than at Daytona, because I was able to test the car a couple of days in Sebring. I was able to get a little more comfortable in the car. Even though the seat is not a proper seat, it allows me to drive and get in and out of the car quickly during pit stops. So, I’m much happier. The track is much more physical than Daytona. I’ve never raced on it, obviously, but I tested on the little track in IndyCar. The bigger track has a lot more going on, there are some bumpy areas where you really have to pay attention. The weather looks like it’s going to be a hot weekend, so that will be a factor. Overall, I’m looking forward to racing at Sebring. I feel really positive with everything that is going on with this team. I liked what I saw at the test, so hopefully that will translate to a great race.”

What are your observations of this team after your experience at Daytona and at the Sebring test?

“The driver lineup and, with all due respect, the engineers and the rest of the team, I’ve been having a good time. We had fun, we worked well together. It’s really a question of getting everything to the track and making it fast and making it durable and the four of us drivers can do a good job. It’s good to have teammates that you can be confident in. That’s the simple answer about all the positive things that are going on with this team.”

 

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

Your overall thoughts as we head to Sebring this weekend?

“We had a good test there last month. The guys have done some new stuff on the car and it made a huge difference in what the car could and could not do at the test, so from that standpoint the test went really well. We were much more competitive than we have been there in previous years, so we feel really good about that. Obviously, we’re coming in with a four-driver lineup, which is the biggest change for us at this race. With the heat and difficult time the drivers have in these cars around that racetrack, having four will help that much more. Rubens did a great job for us at Daytona, considering we put him in the car at the last second and he didn’t have the best seating position because of that. This time, he’s had a lot of time in the car and we will have him properly fitted, so we have a good chance to have an even better run.”

 

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