By: Ashley McCubbin
In 1996, Wayne Taylor got his first taste of experiencing Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona victory, visiting victory lane in a Doyle Racing Olds-Riley & Scott Mk III which he co-drove with Scott Sharp and Jim Pace. In the same season, he was also able to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, while partaking in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It may be 25 years later, but the family continues to cement their name into the SportsCar history books. Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 DPi scored the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Overall victory, being co-driven by Wayne’s son Ricky, Filipe Albuquerque, Helio Castroneves, and Alexander Rossi.
Wayne’s other son Jordan Taylor got to experience the thrill of Daytona victory as well, as he took top honors on the GTLM class, sharing the No. 3 Corvette Racing entry with Nicky Catsburg and Antonio Garcia.
In looking back, Wayne Taylor admits the boys did not show an interest in motorsports when they were younger, with that coming to fruition as they got older.
“I’d taken them go-kart racing because I didn’t want to suit in front of the TV everyday, and I could see a bit of talent there,” Wayne Taylor told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Even though they weren’t interested, I just kept talking about it and in 2005, when Max and I won Daytona, which was my last championship, it was like a light switch went on and they both wanted to be in racing.
“They’re both so passionate about it, love it, know everything about it, and imagine how lucky I am to have a job and get paid to go do what I wanted to do and then on top of that, then you have your two kids come in and both driving for me on-and-off over the past 10 years – you can’t beat that. Family means everything.”
The passion for motorsports resonates through the family, as Ricky Taylor admitted not always giving his dad enough credit for the work he puts into his race team.
“He’s done an amazing job building this team and he works so hard, he’s so stressed, and he puts his heart and soul into it,” he commented. “You could see it on the timing stand and all of us see it, because he’s on the intercom. Everybody was trying to get him to go to sleep, and he would not go to sleep. He deserves this so much, and he’s a special dad, special team owner, and I think everybody here can attest to the fact he puts everything into it and it shows.”
Jordan Taylor has driven for his dad a couple times, and knows what the team is capable of from the inside, beaming with pride in seeing them score their third consecutive Rolex 24 victory.
“That’s amazing what my dad has built over at Wayne Taylor Racing, especially at this event,” he commented. “They’re so strong at Daytona and in endurance races, and they’ve only had those cars with a month or two to prepare with no testing, only the ROAR last week, so I think it speaks volumes for the mechanics and the crew, and all the drivers all did a great job. I don’t they had the overall pace in the race, but it came down to strategy and execution and that’s what that team is really known for.
Ricky was also quick to offer praise for his younger brother Jordan in how he carried Corvette Racing to their win, despite adversity with Garcia having a positive COVID-19 test partway through the event.
“I think for me looking at Jordan, I’m so proud of him,” Ricky said. “He’s been with Corvette Racing for years. He was put in a really difficult situation at LeMans in 2017 where he was the finishing driver and they were off sequence in tires, and he got a lot of heat for how that race went.
“I feel it’s a shame for Antonio, but as a brother for Jordan, I’m super proud of him to carry the weight on his shoulders and for the team to put it in his hands there, and I think it’s so cool.”
While the family has been successful, the fact they were all able to celebrate wins together on Sunday isn’t lost on them, knowing you don’t always get that lucky in motorsports. As Jordan Taylor noted, it “could easily be the last time we win on the same weekend.”
“On the family front, racing is really tough and the times when one person has a good day is rare in motorsports, but when the family is all happy, you really have to savor those days,” Ricky shared.
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