Wayne Taylor Racing: Long Beach Grand Prix Preview - Ricky & Jordan Taylor

April 16, 2016

RICKY TAYLOR & JORDAN TAYLOR

Surf’s Up for Konica Minolta Corvette DP Driver Duo as They ChaseSecond Straight Win, Third Straight Top-Two Finish on Streets of Long Beach

LONG BEACH, California (April 12, 2016) – Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP team for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) have been rock solid at most every type of racetrack they’ve visited over the years, but there are a select few where they just seem to have a knack for excelling more so than the others.

One of those is Southern California’s legendary Grand Prix of Long Beach street circuit, site of Saturday’s third stop on the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship tour – the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix.

The Taylor brothers are defending race winners and finished second there during their first visit two seasons ago, giving the team an all-time average finish of 1.5 over the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach layout. That mark is surpassed for WTR only by a perfect average finish of 1.0 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, where the team strung together four consecutive wins in its only visits there from 2010 through 2013.

After a frustrating 12th-place result at the last stop on the WeatherTech Championship tour – last month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – this weekend’s visit to the Long Beach street circuit is a very welcome one in the WTR camp. Monsoon rains and lightning that prompted a two-hour, 15-minute red flag stoppage were to blame for electrical issues in the Konica Minolta Corvette that cost several pit stops to troubleshoot and, ultimately, left the sleek, black racecar stranded on the rugged Sebring track with three hours to go. The 12th-place finish was WTR’s first outside the top-10 since 40 races ago at the 2012 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, and it ultimately dropped the team to fifth in this year’s championship despite its solid runner-up finish at the season-open Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Not to worry, say the Taylor brothers, as they return to their happiest of happy places, of late, for a shot at successfully defending last year’s race win and running their Long Beach record to three consecutive top-two finishes.

That would go a long way toward re-establishing their strong foothold in this year’s championship chase as the series navigates through three sprint races in the next three events.

Practice for Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix begins Friday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 9:15 p.m. EDT and carried via live video stream at IMSA.com beginning at 8 p.m. The green flag flies at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for the 1-hour, 40-minute race with television on FS2 beginning at 7 p.m. The race will be rebroadcast on FS1 at 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. 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 about heading back to Long Beach as defending race winners?

“I’m really looking forward to going back to Long Beach. We had a rough Sebring, so going somewhere that we have had a win and a second place is very encouraging to hopefully get some points back in the championship. It is always nice to go back when you are the defending race winners. It always gives you a little extra confidence and a boost in your step walking into the track on Thursday.”

What is it about Long Beach that has led to your success there in your first two outings?

“We have been to Long Beach twice and we unloaded the first time with a good car right off the bat. The car has always suited the tight corners and hard braking at Long Beach. Track position is very important and qualifying is a premium, which we have managed to achieve a good result both times.”

After a relatively flawless Rolex 24 At Daytona, then a frustrating end to what was shaping up to be a promising run at Sebring, your thoughts on heading into the sprint race portion of the season?

“It was a bit of a disappointment at Sebring because we felt that we had a little buffer leaving Daytona in points to the rest of the regular-season threats. After Sebring, we are very much still in the mix, but without the lead we had after Daytona. We have two good races coming up for us and we need to take advantage of those to set the tone for the rest of the season. Looking ahead, our team has worked very hard and our car is stronger than last year, so I am confident we can fight for wins for the remainder of the season.”

 

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

Your overall thoughts about heading back to Long Beach as defending race winners?

“It’s always cool to head back to a track where you are the defending winners. It gives you a bit of extra confidence and you tend to enjoy driving on those tracks a bit more. It’s a cool city to race in, with lots of racing history, so I always enjoy going back.” 

What is it about Long Beach that has led to your success there in your first two outings?

“We’ve always seemed to run well on both street courses and sprint races. We’ve had a first and second at Long Beach, and then two wins at Detroit. Everything has to go right in these races, from the drivers maximizing every lap, to the guys in the pits for that one crucial stop, to the strategy. So I think it just shows how well our team executes in those situations.” 

After a relatively flawless Rolex 24 At Daytona, then a frustrating end to what was shaping up to be a promising run at Sebring, your thoughts on heading into the sprint race portion of the season?

“I think the good thing to take away from the first two races was that we had a fast car and were the fastest team in the pits. More often than not, these races are won in the pits, so as a driver, it’s an amazing thing to have such a strong team alongside you to support you in those stops. They’re important in the long races, but even more crucial when we get into these sprint races.”

 

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

Your overall thoughts as we head to Long Beach this weekend?

“After the disappointing turn of events at Sebring, I believe we can bounce back with a good result at Long Beach and that’s been our motivation ever since. It’s been about as good as a race can get for us the last two years. We introduced our partners Konica Minolta there two years ago and we haven’t missed a beat, since. It’s obviously another big Konica Minolta weekend for us, as well as for a lot of our other partners, so we’ll want to put on the usual good show for them. Ricky and Jordan and really looking forward to getting back to the sprint race part of the schedule. We feel like we’ve been strong everywhere we’ve been of late. We were good at Sebring but had that electrical problem that led to a horrible result. But, yes, there are some tracks where we are better than others and Long Beach is certainly one of those.”

 

 

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