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Jul 10, 2014 - 06:29 AM
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Wayne Taylor Racing: Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix At Bowmanville Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 10, 2014 - 06:27 AM
USCR News
Wayne Taylor Racing: Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix At Bowmanville Preview


Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) go from one legendary former North American Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit to another as they pay their inaugural visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.

 

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Two weekends ago, the leaders in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship Prototype-class standings were joined by veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli for a hard-luck, fifth-place finish in the annual Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen endurance marathon at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, which was the home of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix from 1961 through 1980.

This weekend’s festivities take place at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course about 90 minutes northeast of Toronto that hosted the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 1967 to 1977. The 53-year-old racetrack known until 2012 as Mosport Park has been a fixture on the North American sports car racing circuit since 1982, when IMSA prototypes and GT-class competitors began making their annual rounds each summer. From 1999 to 2013, it was a regular stop on the American Le Mans Series tour, and it stayed on the schedule after the merging of the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series took shape this season under the auspices of the Tudor series. Thus, the Taylor brothers and their fellow former Rolex Series teams will be making their first appearance at the legendary Canadian facility this weekend.

Not to worry, say Ricky and Jordan Taylor, whose team has a history of success in first-time visits to racetracks across North America dating back to when Angelelli and their father, three-time sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, first joined the Rolex Series in their No. 10 Prototype back in 2004.

Angelelli and Wayne Taylor scored wins the first time they raced at Phoenix International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway in Alton in 2004. Angelelli and Jan Magnussen drove the No. 10 racecar to victory the first time the Rolex Series visited Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007. Angelelli and Ricky Taylor were victorious in the Rolex Series’ first visit to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut in 2010 and also went on to win the next three seasons at the New England short track for good measure. And last year, Angelelli and Jordan Taylor captured the checkered flag in the Rolex Series’ first visit to the Kansas Speedway road course in Kansas City for their third of five victories in 2013 that led to the Rolex Series driver championship.

One ace in the hole for the Taylor brothers and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP team this weekend will be fact Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is the home track for engineer Brian Pillar, who was born in nearby Barrie, Ontario and was raised in Aliston, Ontario. Pillar, in his eighth season with WTR, made annual stops at the track with the SPEED World Challenge Series while with RealTime Racing and drivers Peter Cunningham and Pierre Kleinubing from 2004 to 2007. He also engineered the 2003 SPEED World Challenge effort at the track for Techmark Racing, and he worked with Hyundai Motorsports there in GRAND-AM Cup Series competition in 2001 and 2002.

Practice for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix begins Friday afternoon with Prototype-class qualifying set for 6:05 p.m. EDT Saturday. The green flag for Sunday’s two-hour, 45-minute race flies at 2:05 p.m. with FOX Sports 1’s live television broadcast beginning at 2 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s live radio broadcast will be available on IMSA.com and MRNRadio.com, as well as select radio networks beginning at 1:45 p.m. Live streaming video of Saturday’s qualifying sessions will be available at IMSA.com beginning at 5:20 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 Wayne Taylor Racing Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype:

Your thoughts about heading to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the first time?

“It’s exciting to be going to another new track. It is always a great challenge to try getting up to speed. I have heard so much about this track, especially the speed. I have done plenty of time on the simulator learning the layout and in our car it will be very quick. I expect the performance to be similar to Watkins Glen as the tracks are quite similar.”

The team has developed quite the knack over the years for doing well at tracks it visits for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. The runner-up finish at Long Beach in April is the latest example. Why is that?

“Long Beach was really good. We race in a very professional series and the level is very high this season. So you can’t count on our performance being down to the drivers. Everyone will be figuring the track out quickly. Our relationship with Pratt and Miller and our excellent engineering department at WTR gives us a great advantage for giving us a very good car right off the trailer. The ability to adapt throughout the weekend has also been something that the team has really excelled at.”

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was a fixture on the American Le Mans Series schedule prior to this year. Do you expect the teams that competed in that series might have an advantage this weekend?

“I think it will already be a strong track for them, but I have a lot of confidence that our team will be right on it and will give Jordan and me a winning car.”

You continue to hold a narrow points lead. What will it take to hold onto it over this next stretch of races?

“We have to do what we have been doing – minimize our mistakes and finish the season with all podium finishes. I don’t care so much about wins.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype:

Your thoughts about heading to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the first time?

“Mosport is going to be the fastest track that we go to this year. It is a very high-speed circuit with long flowing corners. There are only two corners where you actually have a decently hard brake zone. The rest is all extremely fast. It’s got a lot of history. It’s been a traditional road course on the sports car racing calendar for years, so it’s nice that we were able to keep it for this year. I think it will be a tough fight in the (Prototype) class, especially having so many cars on such a short, but fast track.”

The team has developed quite the knack over the years for doing well at tracks it visits for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. The runner-up finish at Long Beach in April is the latest example. Why is that?

“Our guys do a lot of homework and research before going to events, so we are as prepared as possible when we show up at the track. Hopefully, we can keep that trend going this weekend. And for us as drivers, we’ve been watching these races for years, so when we get there for the first time it almost feels like we’ve been going there for years after watching TV and onboards.”

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was a fixture on the American Le Mans Series schedule prior to this year. Do you expect the teams that competed in that series might have an advantage this weekend?

“Initially, I think they will have a small advantage because they have some data and experience there – from things like how the track develops over the week and the areas that are important to focus on. We have a lot of smart guys on our team, and plenty of them have probably been there before with other teams, so I’m not too worried.”

You continue to hold a narrow points lead. What will it take to hold onto it over this next stretch of races?

“We’ve just got to do what we’ve been doing. We’ve been first or second in all of the races but two. So as long as we stick to our plan and focus on what we are there to do, we should be fine. Just staying out of trouble and not making any mistakes will be key. Our guys are always the quickest in the pits and we always have good strategy, so as long as us drivers don’t mess it up, we should be in good shape.”

WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype:

Your thoughts about this weekend’s inaugural visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park?

“I’m not too worried that it’s our first time there. Both drivers will get up to speed pretty quickly, I’m pretty sure of that. Jordan has actually raced there and won there. Brian (Pillar, engineer), is pretty smart. All the assistance from Pratt and Miller on the engineering side is going to be a good thing. We’ll have loads of data. I think the track is very similar to Watkins Glen. We just have to wait and see how we all stack up against each other. We lost some points at the last race and now it’s just in the mode of doing things one race at a time. I think the LMP2 cars will be quick there with the high-speed corners. Like all the other races, it’s going to be ultracompetitive. Nobody can make mistakes, from the drivers, to the engineers to the guys doing the pit stops and, if you do all of that right, you should come out with a good result.”

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