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TAYLOR: Rolex 24 Debrief

WTR’s Jordan Taylor files his first Sportscar365 column of the year…

Photo: John Brooks

Photo: John Brooks

Well another Rolex 24 at Daytona has come and gone. This year’s race was probably one of the most highly anticipated sports car races in recent memory and probably my lifetime.

After the long off season where we saw GRAND-AM and ALMS merge into one championship, we were finally back where we wanted to be, a race track!

It was an especially special event for me and my family, because it would be the first time I would be teaming up with not only my brother, but also my dad, and my brother from another mother, Max.

It is something that we talked about ever since Ricky and I started racing, but it wasn’t until now that we would have the opportunity.

With all the changes to our Corvette during the off season, we went into the event with a bit of a question mark, not knowing how competitive we would be, nor how reliable all of the updates would be.

But for me, I knew we had the best guys working on it with Wayne Taylor Racing, Dallara, Pratt & Miller, and everyone else involved. So with all of that support, we felt like we were as ready as we could be.

We went into the race knowing that it was going to be all about survival. It was a unique year, where we had an extra number of drivers that seemed to be lost out there, so it was easy to get caught up in trouble when going through traffic. We knew we had the pace to contend for the win.

So for the first 20 hours, our goal was just to stay out of trouble and stay on the lead lap.

We had two minor incidents during the race, both traffic-related. One was late on Saturday night where a car hit the wall and stacked up the field and Max had a small touch on the front nose. The second was with me in the car, where a Prototype lost it out of T1 and I had to go off track to avoid, narrowly missing both the car and the wall.

I always enjoy the 24 hour for many different reasons, but the one that tops the rest is being able to battle with all your heroes.

I had stints throughout the race with Bourdais, Dixon, Kanaan, Pruett, Westbrook, Barbosa, Fittipaldi, and more. I look up to these guys, so to be able to drive with them on track is always a great experience.

Finishing 2nd two years in a row isn’t the greatest feeling, but hard to complain. We never went a lap down, and we never went behind the wall. It’s a true testament to our team, a small group of guys that have really become a family.

To stand on the podium at one of the biggest sports car races in the world with your family is something special, and something many people won’t be able to experience.

It’s a dream to be able to do what you love for a living, it’s even better to do it with the people you love.

Jordan Taylor (@jordan10taylor) is the 2013 Rolex Sports Car Series DP champion, driving for Wayne Taylor Racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Corvette Racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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