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Wayne Taylor: “Father’s Dream” for Ricky to be Called Up By Penske

Wayne Taylor on son Ricky’s opportunity with Penske…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Wayne Taylor says it’s a “father’s dream” to have had Ricky Taylor called up by Roger Penske to drive for the legendary organization, and Acura, in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.

The newly crowned Prototype champion was confirmed Wednesday by Penske Team Acura to join Helio Castroneves in one of the team’s Acura ARX-05 DPi cars next year, marking a move away from his family-run Wayne Taylor Racing operation after four years.

For Wayne Taylor, the opportunity for Ricky to make the move to Penske was something he, his team, as well as GM, were fully supportive of.

It’s understood GM agreed to terminate its contract with Ricky one year early for the opportunity.

“No matter which way I look at it, professional and personally, it is a father’s dream to have his son called upon by Roger Penske,” Wayne Taylor said.

“So I’m incredibly proud of Ricky and excited for him, and I think, honestly, the entire team has been supportive of this move, as well as everyone at General Motors and Cadillac.

“But I’ve still got Jordan, and he knows how to win championships.”

Jordan, who became a two-time IMSA champion last weekend alongside his brother, said he “couldn’t have asked for more” as far as achievements are considered with the two as a pairing.

“The last four years have been great with Ricky. We won lots of races together, including all the big ones, the Rolex 24, Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and now the championship,” Jordan Taylor said.

“So we couldn’t have asked for any more than that as far as accomplishments together, really.

“For Ricky, having the chance to go to Penske is a huge opportunity for him.

“As a brother, I couldn’t be more proud of him. As a teammate, it makes me sad. But it’s just an unbelievable opportunity to drive for Roger Penske.

“We’ll just have to look forward to racing against him, now.”

WTR Closing in on Replacement Driver

Wayne Taylor said they are currently working on securing Ricky’s replacement, but up until now, has been a challenge due to not being able to publicly announce the team’s vacancy for its No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R.

A number of top-level drivers, including Brendon Hartley and Olivier Pla were understood to had been in discussions with the Indianapolis-based team in recent weeks, but neither are believed to have materialized.

Instead, Sportscar365 understands that Renger van der Zande is among the leading candidates to replace the 28-year-old at the wheel of the Konica Minolta-sponsored machine.

“I think the replacement we’re working with at the moment is of [Ricky’s] caliber,” Wayne Taylor said.

“We need to sort everything out before we make any official announcements.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Matt

    October 12, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Van Der Zande in the caddy next year? Hmmm who would replace him at visit Florida? If anything I think someone should replace Marc Goosens…

  2. DDV

    October 12, 2017 at 9:21 am

    It would surprise me that VFR would not have an option on Renger VDZ, and even more that they did not exercised it, …….as far as his pairing with Goossens is concerned, let’s not forget that the major part of setting up the car was Goossens work, and he still has the speed and concistency to deliver, ………….

  3. Paul

    October 12, 2017 at 9:35 am

    While Ricky is a fine addition to Penske, it makes me wonder if he was their second choice over Jordan. I think GM probably did everything in their power to not let Jordan go, which led Penske to the other Taylor…..

    • Johannes275

      October 12, 2017 at 11:14 am

      It was Ricky Taylor having tested Simon Pagenaud’s IndyCar in February that led Penske to choosing him.

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