Wayne Taylor: Rolex 24 Success Not “Rocket Science”

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Wayne Taylor says that securing Acura’s first overall victory in the Rolex 24 wasn’t “rocket science” but rather hard work and preparation by his team in the build-up this year’s Florida endurance classic.

WTR earned its fourth Rolex 24 win in the last five years, including the third consecutive, with Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves taking the Konica Minolta-sponsored Acura ARX-05 to its first 24-hour win.

It came in a highly competitive battle that saw all three DPi manufacturers finish on the podium.

Despite coming in its first race with Acura, Taylor insisted that he has no “golden secret” to success at Daytona.

As seen in previous editions, WTR’s No. 10 entry spent the least amount of time in the pits in DPi.

“I always say about anything in life, nothing is rocket science,” Taylor said.

“People like to make it sound like it’s rocket science. It’s very simple things I’ve learned from Tim Cindric or Roger [Penske]. When they were preparing their cars for the Indy 500 they spent four months.

“I remember learning from that and saying to my guys, ‘OK, to win the 24-hour, the one thing you have to do is make the car bullet-proof.

“You only need to come in for tires, fuel and driver changes. If you come in for anything else, in today’s world, you lose the race.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys surrounding me that do that job. 

“It’s very much a family program that we’ve got together. We all believe in each other. Everybody’s just fantastic.”

With its off-season switch from Cadillac to Acura, Taylor said the team focused on preparation rather than testing, with the car not turning its first laps until a test at Sebring less than three weeks before the race.

“Having come here and getting the cars so late it was a monumental program to put together,” Taylor explained.

“Although we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare the cars, I’m thankful that they’ve been supportive.

“I can’t say enough about Acura to HPD and everybody.

“It’s been given me a new lease on life because quite honestly I was getting bored.

“You do that sometimes when you’ve been around an organization for so long that you’re not sure they’d take you seriously anymore or for granted.

“The best thing that happened that I’ve just won four Daytona 24 hours in five years. I’m so proud of everybody on our team.”

Banner Weekend for Taylor Family

With Jordan Taylor taking GT Le Mans class honors for Corvette Racing, Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener ended up being a banner day for the Taylor family.

“I’m just really proud of my family,” said Ricky. “I don’t think I give my dad enough credit.

“He’s done an amazing job building this team. He works so hard and is so stressed. He puts his heart and soul into it and you can see it on the timing stand.

“All of us see it as he’s on the intercom. He stayed up all 24 hours. Everybody was trying to get him to go to sleep and he would not go to sleep. 

“He deserves this so much. He’s a special dad, a special team owner and everybody here can attest to it that he puts everything into it and it shows.”

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