Wayne Taylor Racing Prepares For The America’s Tire 250 At Laguna Seca

Image result for cadillac dpi-v.r prototype race car

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. driver duo of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and the racing team owned by their three-time sportscar-champion father Wayne Taylor have had seven weeks to prepare for the biggest race of their lives together –Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship America’s Tire 250 at Laguna Seca Raceway on the outskirts of Monterey, California.

Thanks to their five consecutive victories to start the 2017 campaign, and most recently their solid runner-up finish at the series’ previous round Aug. 6 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the Taylor brothers arrive at the iconic, 2.238-mile, 11-turn hillside Laguna Seca road circuit with a hefty 26-point lead in the Prototype-class driver and team standings with only Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race and the season-ending 10-hour Petit Le Mans endurance marathon two weeks hence at Road Atlanta left on the schedule.

A finish of seventh place or better Sunday would be enough to clinch both driver and team championships for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R entry. But while that’s all well and good for the Taylor brothers and the rest of the team, they’ve been preparing for this latest stop on the tour with the same focus on winning the race that they have taken to every track to this point in the season. Anything less than their usual focus on winning, they feel, only opens the door for potential disaster.

The good news is that Laguna Seca has been the scenic backdrop for some of the team’s most successful race weekends over the years, the most notable of which occurred there at the penultimate event of the 2013 season, when Jordan Taylor and then-co-driver Max “The Ax” Angelelli scored a dominating victory in a must-win situation en route to that year’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series driver championship. It was their second of a remarkable three wins in a row to close the season – the first coming at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and the third in the season finale at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut – which enabled them to eclipse a 19-point deficit in the standings and leapfrog from fourth to first for Angelelli’s second and Taylor’s first career sportscar title.

This weekend, the Taylor brothers know all it would take to clinch their first championship since becoming a full-time driver duo in 2014 is a finish of seventh or better Sunday. They know a run to their seventh podium finish in the season’s first nine events would certainly do the trick and make it taste a little sweeter. But they’d like nothing more than to close the deal on the season-long championship with an outright victory, and they’ve proven to be more than capable of doing just that.

Practice for Sunday’s America’s Tire 250 begins Friday morning while Prototype-class qualifying is set for 3:20 p.m. EDT Saturday with live video at IMSA.tv beginning at 2:20 p.m. The green flag flies at5:05 p.m. Sunday with live TV coverage set for FS1 beginning at 5 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 Cadillac DPi-V.R:
 

It’s been seven weeks since your solid runner-up finish at Road America. Your thoughts on getting back to the championship chase at Laguna Seca this weekend and what you expect at that track?

“Yes, ending that streak of poor finishes at Watkins Glen and Mosport was very encouraging. I am looking forward to getting back to racing with some momentum because we had lost that a bit, and I felt like we were in defense mode a bit at Road America just trying to have a clean race. Now, that is all behind us. Road America was great and we can attack this weekend in Laguna.”

You and Jordan can clinch the championship this weekend with a seventh-place finish or better at Laguna Seca. How does that affect your mindset and the team’s approach for this race, knowing you almost always say you’re racing to win?

“The goal for me personally is to get through Laguna in a position to where we only need to do the minimum at Petit (Le Mans, the season finale at Road Atlanta). That way, we can go full attack and try to win Petit Le Mans and the championship together. However, we will be maximizing this weekend as much as possible and going for a win like usual. I think if we are too defensive, we are not focused on doing all of the things that have put us in this position. I still believe we can win Laguna and Petit and there is no reason why, just because we have a cushion, that we shouldn’t prepare in such a way. We just have to avoid overly dangerous situations and not put ourselves in unnecessary risk.”

You finished your Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season since you last raced at Road America. Your thoughts on that, what it meant to you, was it a worthwhile experience, and would you go back and do it again?

“I had a great time racing in Sprint X. GT3 racing is a lot of fun as a driver. But, racing in prototypes is really what I love and is my main focus at the moment.”

Your thoughts about Laguna Seca, your feelings about the track, what we can expect this weekend, how it suits your car, etc.?

“Laguna should suit us quite well. I think the LMP2-spec cars have the upper hand with their additional downforce. But I think, with the way the traffic flows and the strategy, we should be in the fight for a win.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:
 

It’s been seven weeks since your solid runner-up finish at Road America. Your thoughts on getting back to the championship chase at Laguna Seca this weekend and what you expect at that track?

“Laguna has been a good track for us, historically, but this year we go back with the Cadillac for the first time. The last few years we’ve had one of the fastest cars, so I have confidence in the team that we understand what it takes to make a car quick around there. I’ve always enjoyed driving there, so I’m looking forward to getting back.”

You and Ricky can clinch the championship this weekend with a seventh-place finish or better at Laguna Seca. How does that affect your mindset and the team’s approach for this race, knowing you almost always say you’re racing to win?

“I think we go into this weekend the same as we have been all year. If we start getting caught up trying to be safe and conservative, that’s when you make mistakes. The way we’ve been approaching these weekends has been working, so there is no reason to change that at this point. I do believe that when you aren’t fully focused on pushing and getting the most out of it, it’s easier to make mistakes. When you are pushing the hardest and going for a win, you are forced to be at your most focused, so that’s what we’ll do. Our guys have been doing this long enough, they’ve all won races and championships, so there is no reason to try and reinvent the wheel.”

You won the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship since you last raced at Road America. Your thoughts on that, what it meant to you, was it a worthwhile experience, and would you go back and do it again?

The SprintX Championship was a bit odd, how it was a championship inside a championship. For me, I was obviously happy to win it because it was the only part I was involved with over there. There were a lot of good drivers and teams that we were up against. I have always enjoyed being involved with Cadillac Racing, and it was a great experience doing it all with Michael Cooper as my teammate.”

Your thoughts about Laguna Seca, your feelings about the track, what we can expect this weekend, how it suits your car, etc.?

“Laguna has always been a fun track. It’s got its unique challenges and has a lot of history. It’ll be interesting to see where all the cars stack up during the weekend. It’s another race where we’ll have multiple pit stops and strategy calls, so that’s always a part of the race that suits our team.”

WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:
 

Your overall thoughts as we head to Laguna Seca for Sunday’s America’s Tire 250?

“Winning the championship is always the priority, but winning races and collecting podium finishes is always the focus and the way to win a championship. So we will go about our business like we do every weekend at Laguna, which has always been a fairly good track for us. We all love going out there to race and to spend some time. It’s a big Konica Minolta-supported event and I think we have a good car in our Cadillac DPi-V.R that should give them something to feel good about. I’m not sure whether we’ll have an outright winning car for that track this weekend, but we’ll certainly have a car to do what’s important to us right now with the championship at stake. It seems like such a long time since we last raced, so it’ll be good to get back out there. The guys have had plenty of time to prepare for what we need to do this weekend, so we’ll see. Again, we may not be fastest car there, but we know we have a car and a team and drivers who can win, but we still have to finish. We’ll go to the race on the basis of trying to win the race, like we do each and every weekend.”

 

Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Team Report

Round 9 of 10 – America’s Tire 250 – Laguna Seca

 

At-Track PR Contact: Laz Denes with True Speed Communication (256-717-8014 or Laz.Denes@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

 

Event: Two-hour, 40-minute  IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California (2.238-mile, 11-turn road course).

 

Broadcast (race time 5:05 p.m. EDT Sunday)FS1 live – 5 p.m. EDTSaturday qualifying –2:20 to 3:35 p.m. (Prototype class at 3:20 p.m.) via IMSA TV at IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile app.

 

Click here for Wayne Taylor Racing’s Track Performance History.

 

Click here for Wayne Taylor Racing’s 2017 results.

 

Driver Lineup:

 

Driver: Ricky Taylor

Birthdate: Aug. 3, 1989

Birthplace: Surrey, England

Residence: Orlando, Florida

Personal: Single

 

Driver: Jordan Taylor

Birthdate: May 10, 1991

Birthplace: Orlando, Florida

Residence: Apopka, Florida

Personal: Single

Primary Crew Members:

Owner: Wayne Taylor (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

Team Manager: Travis Houge (Dolliver, Iowa)

Car Chief: Chris Bennett (Indianapolis)

Lead Mechanic: Bill Mullen (Hamilton, Ohio)

Race Engineer: Brian Pillar (Alliston, Ontario, Canada)

Support Engineers: Adam Banet (Floyd Knobs, Ind.),Shishir Vyas (Sydney)

Mechanics/Crew: Doug Bradley (Estherville, Iowa), David Nisbet (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Chris Seaman (Hamburg, Pa.) Nicholas Voils (Indianapolis)​

Truck Driver: Paul Sheehan (Olivia, Minn.)

 

Over-the-Wall Crew Members:

 

Front Tire Changer: Doug Bradley

Rear Tire Changer: Chris Bennett

Airjack: Dave Nisbet

Fuel Man: Chris Seaman

Fire Bottle: Paul Sheehan

Driver Change Assist: Bill Mullen

Pit Board: Nick Voils

Tire Assist: Nick Voils, Paul Sheehan

Deadman: Shishir Vyas

Car Specifications
 

No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R

Chassis: The monocoque is made by Dallara of carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb and Zylon side panels. The bodywork is carbon fiber with Kevlar panel inserts.

Engine: Cadillac 6.2 liter V-8 engine, the same engine that powers the Cadillac CTS-V supersedan. Finer points include: Cadillac Gen V LT based 6.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 with production-based aluminum block and heads. Earnhardt Childress Racing (ECR)-designed semi-stressed engine mounting system with integral oil lubrication system.

 

Exhaust: Rear-facing, top exit, dual outlet multi-branch exhaust header system.

 

Power: 600 horsepower at approximately 7,900 rpm.

 

Fuel Capacity: 19.8 gallons.

 

Engine Management: Bosch MS5.0 ECU, C60 DATA Logger, traction control.

 

Electronics:

Power: Cosworth IPS48, SSR300A, RLU, RSP20.

Data: Cosworth CLU Plus Pro.

Rear-View Camera: Gentex Corporation, GNTX-R, Rear Camera Mirror.

 

Steering Wheel: Cosworth CCW Mk2, paddle shift, 4.5-inch TFT LCD.

 

Clutch: Tilton 5.5 Carbon Disc.

 

Gearbox: Xtrac P1159F, transverse sequential six-speed.

Steering: KYB electrically assisted rack and pinion.

 

Suspension: Front/rear double wishbone independent pushrod.

Brakes: Brembo Monobloc six-piston light aluminum calipers, carbon fiber discs and pads.

 

Weight/Length/Width/Height: 2,050 pounds / 15.58 feet (187 inches) / 6.23 feet (74.8 inches) / 3.78 feet (45.3 inches).

Wheels: American Racing forged AL6061-T6 rims (front 18.0 inches x 12.5 inches; rear 18.0 inches x 13.0 inches).

Tires: Continental Tire (front 320/680-R18; rear 325/710-R18).

 

Notes of Interest
 

  • The penultimate round of the 10-race 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R driving duo ofRicky and Jordan Taylor out West to historic Laguna Seca Raceway on the outskirts of Monterey, California for Sunday’s America’s Tire 250.
  • After sweeping the first half of the season with five consecutive wins – Rolex 24 Hours At DaytonaMobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringBubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix on the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit, Advance Auto Parts Sports Car Showdown at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on the Streets of Belle Isle circuit in downtown Detroit – and a pair of less-than-desireable finishes of sixth and seventh, respectively, at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, the Taylor brothers are coming off a solid runner-up effort seven weeks ago at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
  • The Taylor brothers arrive at the Laguna Seca 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course for Sunday’stwo-hour, 40-minute race with a 26-point lead in the championship with just two events remaining. A finish of seventh place or better Sunday would clinch the 2017 driver and team titles for the Taylor brothers, provided they take the green flag to start the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta two weeks hence.
  • Last year at Laguna Seca, when the race was last was the season’s fourth event held in May, Ricky Taylor qualified fourth and held his position through the opening 30 minutes of the race. He was bumped off the track and into a gravel trap shortly thereafter by the No. 5 Action Express Racing entry driven by Christian Fittipaldi and lost two laps while track workers were able to extricate his car and allow him to drive back to the pits. Taylor and his brother were never able to regain the lead lap and had to settle for a sixth-place finish.
  • Two years ago at Laguna Seca, the Taylor brothers scored the No. 10 team’s third consecutive top-two finish after leading a race-high 60 laps from the pole position. In 2014, the Taylor brothers led 36 of 80 race laps en route to a runner-up finish.
  • The dominating win at Laguna Seca in 2013 by Jordan Taylor and his then-co-driverMax “The Ax” Angelelli vaulted the duo to that year’s final GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship. It was their second of three consecutive victories to finish the season, the first coming at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, and the third coming at the season finale at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. Taylor and Angelelli had overcome a 19-point deficit in the championship over the 2013 season’s final four races to claim the driver championship.
  • During its string of three consecutive top-two finishes at Laguna Seca from 2013 through 2015, the No. 10 Corvette DP led a series-high 168 of 304 race laps run.
  • Prior to the formation of Wayne Taylor Racing in 2007, Angelelli and fellow veteran Jan Magnussen co-drove the No. 10 DP to victory at Laguna Seca, qualifying fifth and leading a race-high 39 of 88 laps along the way.
  • The five consecutive victories by the No. 10 team the first half of this season tied the major North American-based sportscar series record first set in 2001 by the Audi R8prototype duo of Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen, who opened with five consecutive victories top open the 2001 season that combined American Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series events  – Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Sebring, Donington (England) Park, the Jarama Circuit in Madrid, andSonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Capello and Kristensen won eight of the 10 events on that combined 2001 schedule.
  • The first weekend in June, the Taylor brothers were the beneficiaries of some Motor City magic in Detroit by scoring the team’s fourth victory in the last five Belle Isle eventsand the eighth time in the team’s last nine races on temporary street circuits. They did it this time by starting from the back of the Prototype-class grid due to an accident after clocking the fastest lap in qualifying the day before. The Taylor brothers combined to lead 16 of 65 race laps in winning for the 19th time in their respective careers.
  • At Austin in May, Ricky Taylor qualified on the pole for the second race in a row and the 15th time in his career, and he combined with his brother to lead all 73 race laps.
  • The first weekend of April on the streets of Long Beach, Ricky Taylor qualified on the pole for the first time this season in track-record time. He led the opening 33 laps of the one-hour, 40-minute race before handing things over to his brother. Jordan Taylor then pulled off some late-race magic for the win, passing Ryan Dalziel of the No. 2 Extreme Speed Motorsports entry for the lead with five laps to go. It was the third Long Beach win in a row for the Taylors.
  • The Daytona victory Jan. 28-29, alongside now-retired veteran Angelelli and four-timeNASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, was during the maiden voyage of the all-new Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, and it represented manufacturer Cadillac’s return to Prototype-class racing for the first time since their father and team owner, three-time sportscar-racing champion Wayne Taylor, campaigned the Cadillac Northstar LMPentry from 2000 to 2002.
  • The Sebring victory March 18, when they were joined for the first time by British open-wheel specialist Alex Lynn, came 21 years to the day since their father scored back-to-back victories at Daytona and Sebring en route to the 1996 championship.
  • In winning the two iconic endurance marathons to open this season, the Konica Minolta Cadillac led a combined 386 of 1,007 laps (38.3 percent).
  • In addition to their 19th career win, each at Detroit, and with their runner-up finish at Road America, the 27-year-old Ricky Taylor also has 44 podium finishes and 16 poles in107 career major North American sportscar races, and the 25-year-old Jordan Taylor32 podium finishes and 10 poles in 100 career races.
  • A first-lap incident at the Fourth of July weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and a late-race incident while leading at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix the following weekend in Canada led to the end of the team’s five-race winning streak to start the 2017 season.
  • Cadillac V-Performance Racing announced Feb. 13 that Ricky and Jordan Taylor would drive Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe racecars in the five SprintX rounds of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge – the first appearance for both Taylor brothers in the series. Jordan Taylor netted a pair of podium finishes alongside Michael Cooper during the season-opening weekend in April at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, thenwon the lone event run at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park last month before finishing second the following weekend at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. The remaining events: Aug. 11-13 at Utah Motorsports Complex in Tooele, and Sept. 1-3 atCircuit of the Americas.
  • Between this year’s Daytona and Sebring stops on the tour, Ricky Taylor received a rare treat at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he tested the Team Penske IndyCar of defending series champion Simon Pagenaud on the Homestead road circuit. Sources said Taylor laid down laps comparable to Pagenaud’s baseline laps earlier that day, but the ever-so-humble Taylor attributed his success to better track conditions during his time in the car.
  • The team announced last month that IndyCar veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay, the most successful active American driver in open-wheel competition, will replace the previously announced Lynn as the third driver at the 10-hour Road Atlanta season finale. Hunter-Reay co-drove with Angelelli and Jordan Taylor to a runner-up finish at the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona. He won the 2012 IndyCar Series championship, the 2014 Indianapolis 500, was the 2008 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, and has 16 career IndyCar victories and six career pole positions. He just concluded his eighth season driving for Andretti Autosport, racing car No. 28 to represent the 28 million people living with cancer worldwide.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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