Wayne Taylor Racing: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America Preview

Aug. 03, 2016

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – The Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) driver duo of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor arrive at a pivotal IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend when they hit the iconic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

It’s certainly not desperation time but, with just three races remaining on the 10-event IMSA WeatherTech tour for 2016, it would be supremely beneficial to leave the scenic 4-mile, 14-turn road course tucked neatly into the Wisconsin countryside having scored positive points against the two teams just ahead in the championship chase – the Nos. 5 and 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DPs.

The Taylor brothers arrived at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario four weekends ago with a share of the championship lead, qualified on the front row, led 14 laps and ran their most competitive lap times ever at the former home of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix.

In the interests of track position during the latter stages of the race, the team gambled on a fuel and rear-tires-only pit stop that looked like it might pay off early in the final run, but ended up leaving the Taylor brothers with what was still a solid third-place finish behind the Action Express Corvettes. It was the team’s third straight podium finish at the Canadian track after having won the year before, and it dropped the Taylor brothers nine points out of the championship lead and five points out of second place.

The No. 10 Corvette DP has been a proven performer in its last five visits to Road America but, after a solid podium finish in its first visit there in 2011, race days have proven to be problematic thanks to a bizarre assortment of bad luck that led to finishes of seventh, seventh, 10th and eighth the past four seasons. Last year, after leading 20 laps and looking to be in position to win for the second race in a row, a rear suspension problem plucked the Taylors from the lead lap and relegated them to an eighth-place finish. Two years ago, a late-race steering system malfunction proved to be most costly and led to a 10th-place finish.

In its last five visits to Road America, the team has spent plenty of time at the front of the field, leading laps every year for a grand total of 64 laps on the point. But when it arrives in America’s Dairyland for this weekend’s annual visits to the historic racetrack, the focus will be on finishing the job this time around and take charge once again in the championship standings.

Practice for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase begins Friday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 5:05 p.m. EDT Saturday with live video provided by IMSA.tv. The green flag flies at 4:05 p.m. Sunday for the two-hour, 40-minute race with FS1 providing live television coverage 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:

 

Your overall thoughts as we head to Road America for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase?

“We always have a very quick car at Road America but luck just hasn’t seemed to go our way there in the past. I’m really looking forward to the weekend as an opportunity to get some points back and turn our results around at a track where we are due for a win. It’s another of those iconic American facilities. It’s near the top for me. It’s a proper, high-speed road course where the track showcases all types of corners. You have to have a car that can brake well, handle well in high- and low-speed situations, as well as have good top speed for overtaking. It is a real challenge. I expect us to be strong again. We can expect the LMP2 cars to be strong again. But we are really focused on the 5 and 31 (Action Express Corvette DPs). We need to perform well and put pressure on the others to make mistakes and get ourselves back in the championship fight.”
 

You had your best car in three visits to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the previous round but you had to settle for a third-place finish. Your thoughts on that?

“Mosport was a good event for us, everything went to plan and the car was competitive. It just seemed to come down to a little bit of outright pace. The team executed well and we will carry the execution on to this next round.”

 

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

 

Your overall thoughts as we head to Road America for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase?

“We’ve had a couple of bad results the past few years at Road America, so I’m looking forward to turning that around. We have always had a competitive car there, so I don’t see why we can’t be battling for the win. We’ve had an up-and-down year so far, so hopefully we can get some momentum back on our side. Almost every car in our class can win on any given weekend. We have had a good car all this year, and we have been more competitive on the timesheets than we were last year, so I think, combining that with our strength on the timing stand with strategy and speed in pit stops, we have a good shot at it. It’s always nice going back to Road America. It’s one of the few classic road courses that we have left. It’s still got a lot of history with it, sort of like Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen. It’s the longest track that we go to, so that should help spread the classes out a bit better.”

 

You had your best car in three visits to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the previous round but you had to settle for a third-place finish. Your thoughts on that?

“Mosport was a tough race. We won the race last year on strategy, not because of a fast car. This year, we had a much more competitive car, so I think it was still a positive weekend. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we can look toward the rest of the year knowing that we have found some extra speed compared to last year.”

 

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

 

Your overall thoughts as we head to Road America for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase?

“With three races to go in the championship, this weekend adds up to be very important. They’re all important, when you get down to it, but we got shuffled back just a bit in the points at the last race at Mosport, so we’ll have to come out on the plus side this weekend. We didn’t win at Mosport but we did get a podium for the third year in a row and, most importantly, we showed we have a fast racecar that can be competitive. It’s all the other stuff that hopefully will set us apart – our superior driving, strategy and team performance on the pit stops. Road America has always been a good track for us. We just haven’t gotten the results to show for it. I think this will need to be the year we turn that around.”

– TSC –

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