Those ever wondering what it’s like to be in the shoes of a sports car racing driver will be in for a treat on Wednesday, as Continental Tire’s “Through the Driver’s Eyes” provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competitors.
The 60-minute program, which airs at 5 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, follows a number of TUDOR Championship drivers and teams as they prepare, on and off the track, for the series-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Among the drivers profiled are brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, who teamed up with their father Wayne and longtime co-driver Max Anglelli for their first, and likely only, all-family effort in the race.
“There was a big buzz around this year’s Rolex 24,” Ricky Taylor told Sportscar365. “In such a changing time, it was a big deal for us. There was a lot going on in our lives, with both of us driving together [at Daytona] for the first time, and then also driving with Dad.
“So it was really cool to let the cameras in to see what goes on outside of the track. Obviously it’s hard to see everything that goes on in a normal day but I think they did a good job of showing the highlights of what we do and how we get ready for a race.”
The action-packed program, narrated by three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, follows the brothers around at their family’s Apopka, Fla. home as they cook breakfast, blow off some steam on their driveway go-kart track, and head to their college classes.
“Everyone’s so used to seeing what we do at the track,” Ricky added. “The behind-the-scenes stuff is very interesting for people, and even for me, as I’d like to know what other drivers do.
“Jordan and I live a pretty normal life, other than a couple of things that will be shown in the show, I guess!”
Also featured is Extreme Speed Motorsports driver Ryan Dalziel, as he trained for the Rolex 24 with a round of tennis.
The 31-year-old Scot, now living in Windermere, Fla. with his wife Jessica, was supportive of letting the world have a glimpse into his life away from the track.
“I think that it’s important to show the other side of racing,” Dalziel said. “We never had these kind of pieces done before. It shows that we’re human beings and that that we don’t have the glamorous [lifestyles] that people expect.
“For me, I found it really quite funny because if I would have done the same thing when I was in Champ Car, it would have been a very different piece. So it’s cool to see drivers in different stages of their careers with different responsibilities.
“I definitely enjoyed doing it from my own personal side of it. I was able to show people what I do on a day off. I’ve also enjoyed seeing what my rivals do as well. It tells a lot about who you’re up against and what kind of person they are.”
Other drivers featured in the program are Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally, who takes the cameras for a behind-the-scenes look of his Jiu Jitsu and street luge competition, as well as Scott Pruett, who guides viewers through his vineyards in Northern California.
For those tech anoraks, there’s also some never-before-seen footage of Ford Racing’s DP in the wind tunnel, as it completed one of the first phases of the DP/P2 Balance of Performance process late last year, along with on-track testing from the Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express squads.
It all leads up to the race weekend itself, which includes typically closed-door pre-race driver meetings from CGR and Wayne Taylor Racing squads, as well as pit stop practice for CORE autosport’s Prototype Challenge outfit, which went on to score victory with driver Colin Braun, who is also featured.
All in all, “Through the Driver’s Eyes” provides an entertaining, yet informative look at our sport as it kicked off a new era.
Catch the premiere Wednesday at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 with an encore on Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.