Jordan Taylor says it’s been an easy transition into his “new world” of GT Le Mans racing with Corvette Racing, as the former IMSA Prototype champion embarks on his first Rolex 24 at the wheel of a GT car in eight years.
The 28-year-old is making his debut as a full-season Corvette factory driver following one of the highest-profile moves in the driver market for the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Taylor has replaced Jan Magnussen in the team’s No. 3 car lineup, alongside the highly anticipated competition debut of the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
While having been fully focused with his family’s Wayne Taylor Racing operation in recent years, and having won last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona outright, Taylor said his previous experience with the Pratt & Miller-run squad has played to his benefit in the switch.
“The one big positive is that I was at Corvette Racing for six years as the third driver,” he told Sportscar365.
“I at least know the family quite well. I feel like I know all of the guys and I fit right back in like I’ve never left.
“From that point of view it’s been good, like an easy transition.
“But It’s weird walking the paddock and not going into the 10 car trailer and still seeing all of the 10 car guys and catching up with them.
“It’s a new world understanding the GT lifestyle and world of how we run a weekend.
“Debriefs and meetings are all different, the way those are laid out. On track, just understanding the prototype traffic again. It’s been a few years I’ve done that.”
With his last Rolex 24 start in the GT class coming in 2012 at the wheel of Autohaus Motorsports’ Chevrolet Camaaro GT.R, Taylor admitted it has taken some adjusting being in one of the slower categories again.
“Getting in the habit of looking in some spots of when to check the mirror to make sure someone was coming, getting that kind of muscle memory,” he said.
“There’s other things like not pitting the first lap under yellow when prototypes pit and driver changes are a lot different.
“It was good for the Roar. I didn’t get a ton of laps to get in that rhythm so I’m looking forward to practice here to get a little bit more used to that.
“It’s been a lot to learn and adjust to but I think the transition has gone well so far.”
Corvette “Quietly Confident” in C8.R Race Debut
Taylor feels that the team has “done their homework” for the car’s debut race this weekend, despite it coming under challenging and sometimes unpredictable conditions of a 24-hour race.
“I think for any team coming in with a new car, a 24-hour [race] is the toughest thing to do,” he said.
“Corvette has done their homework. They’ve been working on this car for years now behind the scenes and it’s been testing for a couple of years now.
“I think we’re coming in quietly confident. The car has pace. I think reliability has been good in testing but you never know when you get into a race condition when you’re flat out for 24 hours.
“With the pedigree and history of the team, they know how to build a car to run 24 hours reliability and speed-wise.
“We’re going to run our own race. You can get caught up in this race chasing someone but if we focus on our own program we’ll be in a good position Sunday afternoon.”