Motorsports

Wayne Taylor on penalty to Rolex 24 winner: Team accepts call but ‘quietly disappointed’ Ken Roczen details dramatic win and difficult decisions on Title 24 podcast

While the massive fine to the Rolex 24, Daytona winner Meyer Shank Racing admittedly made Wayne Taylor reflect on the past, he is well prepared for the future.

IMSA stripped the Acura No. 60 of everything but the Rolex 24 trophy and the season-opening tire pressure data manipulation watch. as the new leader of the championship and placed in the best pit table of Sebring International Raceway.

“Because IMSA found that the 60th vehicle was fraudulent, we scored this advantage on points because they lost points and stuff, and it also gives us the opportunity to get into the pit lane first, which is always an advantage in strategy, ”Taylor said in an interview with NBC Sports on March 14. “This is an advantage that can help us.

TWELVE HOURS OF SEBRING: details, schedule and information to watch Saturday’s race.

“I have to accept the IMSA decision. And also with Honda and HPD. I’m just disappointed, however, that our drivers and guys are walking ahead (dots) and not wearing Rolex watches. But I still accept their decision, Honda’s decision and Acura’s decision, and you have to look at the big picture. I think it’s more comforting to end up in Sebring as a championship leader than to finish second there.”

The effects of the March 8 fine on MSR are still being felt – even six weeks after the Rolex 24 at Daytona – despite efforts to leave the issue in the rearview mirror. In addition to announcing the dismissal of the team member responsible for the violation and taking responsibility, This is stated in the message MSR last week. that the team will have no further comment.

Honda Performance Development, which discovered and informed IMSA of MSR’s manipulation, made a brief statement denouncing the actions of the Rolex 24 winning team. An HPD spokesperson told NBC Sports the manufacturer “would not comment further at this time” when asked if the fine would affect its relationship with MSR (which also fields Honda in the NTT IndyCar series).

Taylor also seems ready to leave the case.

“You always look at it, but you have to accept what the IMSA says,” Taylor said in response to a question from NBC Sports if he thought his team was missing out on a possible victory in Dayton. “They are the sanctioning body and have full control over the results, but of course we are quietly disappointed, but that is what it is. We stick to what IMSA says and we stick to what all of our partners say and we just live with it. We just have to go and try to win the race.

“Actually, I have no right to quote about it. I think if you read the article I saw was written by Autoweek, it pretty accurately describes what happened. I’d rather not go down in the weeds of it. It was a long, hard break with all this going on in the background and I didn’t know what was going on. Nobody likes that kind of stuff and that’s what it is. We just have to live it now.”


With a 1-2 finish in the first race of the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) hybrid era, Acura was confident of a third straight win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

WTR delivered the first Rolex 24 victory in 2021 for Acura, which failed its first three attempts at Daytona International Speedway with Team Penske in 2018-2020.

Taylor is hoping for a similar feat on Saturday with drivers Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Louis Deletraz at Sebring International Raceway, where Acura failed five tries in the 12-hour endurance classic.

“Obviously we want to be the ones to give (Acura) the win,” Taylor said. “It was great for us to be the first team to give them victory in Dayton in 21st. And yes, it was good. Honda, HPD and Acura have been fantastic supporters. They really are manufacturers of auto racing. Not all racing teams have racing in their DNA like Honda.”

It’s been six years since Wayne Taylor Racing won the 2017 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a Cadillac in what could be Saturday’s toughest race ever. As Cadillac Racing and Porsche Penske Motorsport fielded LMDh cars in both the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend, Taylor has been following the competition at WEC testing and training for Friday’s 1000 Mile Sebring race (IMSA is preparing for the Thursday for the 1000 miles of Sebring). Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Taylor said Chip Ganassi Racing-trained Cadillacs are leading Toyota Hypercars in the WEC’s top prototype category, with Porsche and Ferrari trailing behind.

IMSA made post-Daytona performance balance adjustments that increased the weight of the GTP cars, with the Acura now the heaviest (about 16kg over the Cadillac). Taylor isn’t generally a fan of BoP rules, but he thinks it’s more about balancing LMDh GTPs versus hypercars than based on the Dayton results (and GTP cars get a horsepower boost too).

It’s been six years since Taylor’s car won at Sebring alongside Cadillac in the first year of the now-defunct DPi category, but he’s confident both Acura ARX-06s have held up flawlessly for 24 hours in Dayton while mechanical gremlins hit Porsche and BMW (which are both new to the main prototype division this year).

“(Sebring) is a very, very demanding, bumpy track, and sometimes it suits a different chassis,” Taylor said. “I think this year, with the new car that ORECA built with HPD, we’ve sorted out all those issues. Based on our test, we were very fast. Then it’s just a run case. With all the hybrids, batteries, MGUs and all, there are so many things that are out of our control. This is what we are all worried about.

“In Dayton, everyone thought that we would all be in the garage in about three hours with all sorts of problems. But the cars were running flawlessly. It seems like every time someone plugs the computer into the car, the damn thing stops. Luckily, in a race, no one can put their computer in the car. So I hope we have the same and then it comes down to execution and the right strategy.

“And the rain will play a huge role in that outcome if it rains. Obviously the fastest car is not the favourite.”

The forecast fluctuates with more than 50 percent chance of rain throughout the 12-hour race at Sebring International Raceway, where the pit lane is known to flood.


Regardless of Saturday’s weather, Taylor has a sunny long-term outlook since partnering with team owner Michael Andretti in December.

“It took me a long time to make the decision to become a partner because I’ve been building this team for over 17 years and have created a group of guys who are almost like family,” Taylor said. “We work like a family. I thought we could dilute it, but so far it’s been such a great partnership that it’s truly the best thing I’ve ever done. I certainly have to thank Michael Andretti, (Group President) J.F. Thormann and (COO) Rob Edwards. They are fantastic. They let us run the program as we had run it in the past.

“That’s what we’ve done and all we do is sports cars. When we need something we just call and they help us with everything we need. So it’s a really good partnership.”

Along with tools, tech support and a new home (when Andretti moves to a 525,000-square-foot base in 2025), the new partnership also sets the stage for the launch of a second Acura ARX-06 in the GTP next season.

Taylor hopes to get news on that front after Sebring.

“It’s definitely in the cards,” he said. “The intention is definitely that we will try to launch two cars next year. We haven’t fully completed it yet. I’m sure we’ll find out a little more after Sebring.

“By running two machines, you just get more chances for different strategies, different setups, and we are competing with all these other factories that have two machines, and so you are more likely to take risks when you have two machines. cars. Ultimately, this is what I asked HPD and Acura, but I think we will understand where we are when we finish this race.”

Title 24, NBC Sports’ new podcast featuring supermotocross champions Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto, welcomed its first guest on Wednesday, March 14, when Ken Roczen detailed his emotional victory in Indianapolis. It was the first Supercross (SX) win for the 2016 and 2021 Stadium Series runner-up since he won the season-opening SX last year in Anaheim. Title 24 is available on all major podcast services and Motorsport on the NBC YouTube channel.

Ken Roczen knew that his Suzuki was capable of winning the Indy because he had strong bones. – Feld Motor Sports

“What a story that was for the team, for Suzuki and for me personally,” Roczen told Carmichael. “I’m so glad that I’ve been able to do so many cool things in my career.

“I may not have championship after championship, but there were really special moments that only a very few people can get. Then I was speechless…



Source: motorsports.nbcsports.com

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