Wayne Taylor is upbeat on the future direction of the Prototype class in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with the new-for-2017 regulations poised to deliver increased manufacturer involvement.
The former IMSA champion and longtime sports car racing entrant is targeting an expanded effort with GM, which is expected to be one of at least three manufacturers committed to the new platform.
“We’re working away on trying to put a two-car program together,” Taylor told Sportscar365. “It’s still a little bit early days.
“GM still has to decide what they want to do. But I think it’s a great opportunity for car manufacturers to have really cool-looking cars, stylized like the road cars.”
Taylor believes the new IMSA P2-style model, which will see multiple engines and manufacturer-specific bodywork on the base ACO-spec P2 prototypes, will deliver a bigger return on investment for automakers.
“I think that this is probably the best chance we have to see some real good manufacturer support and different manufacturers entering a series where you can go for overall wins for one-tenth of what they’re spending in P1,” he said.
“It might be a little lean in the beginning but once the car manufacturers realize that you’re spending hundreds of millions to race P1 cars around the world, and now America, which is the biggest car market of the world, you can design a car that looks like an Audi or a Porsche or Cadillac or Corvette and be the premier class to win the race overall.
“It’s got to be appealing to those companies. I think if I was over there, I’d be worried about their series.
“I think our series can grow from this. If everything comes together like they say, in terms of the regulations… You’ve got Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans. it’s really an attractive situation.”
Questions still remain over exactly how the IMSA-spec Prototypes will become eligible for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the current proposal calling for teams to change to the generic bodywork but still be able to run their U.S.-based engine.
For Taylor, who called off a potential Le Mans LMP2 program for this year, returning to La Sarthe as an entrant is not at the top of his priorities.
“I have no real interest in pursuing going to Le Mans,” he said. “I love Le Mans, obviously, but there’s no budget for me to go there and why would I want to take a P2 with a car manufacturer and go race over there for a lower-class finish.
“It just doesn’t make sense for the car manufacturer. It doesn’t make sense for the team.
“From my perspective, I’m racing in the United States trying to win all the big races of the championship. Le Mans does not enter into my plans for next year or for the future.”
For now, teams such as Wayne Taylor Racing are in a holding pattern, waiting to find out what the future will bring, although Taylor believes signs are pointing towards the right direction.
“I think where they’re heading is really good,” he said. “They’re taking input from the teams and are taking input from the manufacturers and I think they’re on a good course. They need to stick to the course.
“I think the biggest thing at the moment is that everybody’s waiting for a manufacturer to make a commitment. Then once that happens, I think things will start happening.”