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Racers in Isolation: Ricky Taylor

Acura Team Penske’s Ricky Taylor reveals his thoughts on what it’s like being out of a real race car for so long…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

In a new regular set of features, Sportscar365 asks drivers from around the world what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

This time it’s 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype champion and Acura Team Penske driver Ricky Taylor (Twitter/Instagram).

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

I’ve been staying at home (in Florida). Plenty of extra time to do some home workouts and bike on the trainer. As a driver, it is easy to socially distance ourselves. It’s what we do normally!

What’s your go-to for food when no-one feels like cooking?

I actually really enjoy cooking, so for us it has been a great opportunity to cook and to get some good healthy meals.

Although the balance has also been trying to limit the trips to the grocery store, meaning cooking in big amounts to have leftovers has been useful.

If I am not cooking for leftovers, some cedar plank salmon on the Big Green Egg has been a staple. Besides that, a great one to freeze and keep for leftovers when we are trying to stay inside has been my Mom’s recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese.

What’s your current favorite Netflix/TV show?

The Stranger was good and we are onto watching Marcella, but surprisingly we haven’t been watching too much TV. More shows may be in our future, however…

Do you do sim racing?

I am just getting everything set back up again. I have a very simple rig and enjoy iRacing. For me, it is such an interesting time to go this long without driving a real car.

All drivers are different and everyone relies on different signals that make them fast, so for some people sim racing keeps them sharp, for others I think they need the real thing.

It’s a unique time now where everyone is on a level playing field, nobody is testing and everyone will be rusty when we get back to it, just a matter of who relies on the real life testing the most to keep sharp and who can hop right back in and be on the pace.

Do you have any pets?

Fonzie, by association.

What’s your favorite section of any race track in the world?

Porsche Curves at Le Mans are such a cool rhythm and surprisingly detailed and technical.

What’s the funniest thing you have heard or said over a team radio?

I remember when driving with Max Angelelli, he was such a passionate driver. Sometimes he would key up and just let out a yell of frustration. But for us in the pit stand, we never knew if the car was destroyed or a GT blocked him. Most of the time it was just a GT car or something.

What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?

Competing. I miss the competition.

Although we are doing what we can to prepare ourselves for going on track again, being at the track and trying to win races and getting the most out of yourself, your team, and your car is exciting. There is nothing like the energy at the track and doing a good job to beat your competitors.

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