Ricky Taylor said Acura Team Penske has been “taking a lot of risks” in an effort to match the pace of Mazda Team Joest, amid Taylor’s heavy accident in qualifying for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Taylor escaped injury in the high-speed shunt at the Bus Stop in the closing minutes of the session, admitting it was his mistake when trying to use “a bunch of curb” in an effort to snatch away pole from the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis.
The No. 7 Acura DPi had been seventh on the time charts at the time of the accident, which took away his 1:34.580 lap due to causing a red flag.
“The pole in Daytona doesn’t mean a lot in the end of the day but it’s really a big accomplishment for those who can get it,” Taylor told Sportscar365.
“We’re fighting really hard. The Mazdas are so fast we have to take a lot of risks to try and match them.
“I used a little bit more curb than usual. I wasn’t in the grass or anything but it just tossed the rear up. I was sliding one way and basically over-corrected into the wall.
“It’s just disappointing. I’m upset for the team. It’s a long race and it’s a big buildup. The guys do such a good job preparing the car in the off-season to make sure everything’s perfect for the race.
“I have no doubt they’ll get it back to perfect running order. It’s just disappointing to give them all this extra work at the beginning of the weekend.”
While sustaining heavy front-end damage, an Acura spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that a chassis replacement will not be needed.
Taylor indicated that it’s the team’s goal to get the car fully repaired to turn laps in this evening’s night practice.
Acuras “Really Struggling” to Match Mazdas “At all Times”
Taylor indicated that the pre-Rolex 24 Balance of Performance adjustment to the Acura DPi, which has seen a turbo boost reduction of nearly seven horsepower, has put the team in a different frame of mind in the build-up to the race.
“Normally you come to the race weekend and are fine-tuning things and you know you’re close and just tweak it for the race and make it good for long runs,” he said.
“But with how fast the Mazdas are, we’re really struggling to match them at all times.
“We got more power taken away from us after the Roar. We really have to overreach.
“Now we’re in a situation where we’re splitting setups between the cars still and trying to cover as much ground as we can.
“It’s just really difficult at the moment.”