Jordan Taylor has declared himself fit for Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach just days after an emergency surgery.
The IMSA DPi championship leader turned laps in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in Friday morning’s practice session, less than 84 hours after undergoing an appendectomy in Hawaii.
Taylor said he first began feeling symptoms on Sunday evening prior to being sent to the ER the following morning on the final planned day of a family vacation.
“I spent all day there doing tests, and then they found it, and it was either we take antibiotics or do the surgery,” Taylor told Sportscar365.
“The thing with doing antibiotics is that it could rupture on the flight or in the car. If it ruptured on the flight we would have nowhere to land [because it was from Hawaii].”
Taylor underwent surgery on Monday night, electing for a laparoscopic procedure that required only three incisions in his abdomen.
“Before the surgery, they said that there would be no fear of injuring yourself after, it’s just pain,” he said.
“So if you can get over the pain, you can do whatever you want. But the problem is that they cut through your abs.”
While the team had initial questions whether the 27-year-old would be fit to race just days after the procedure, with Kamui Kobayashi having been called in as a standby, Taylor said it was never in doubt from his perspective.
Remarkably, he walked six miles the day after his surgery and was even able to jog “a little bit” before flying to Los Angeles on Thursday evening.
Taylor said he only took painkillers on the day of the procedure.
“I never thought I wasn’t going to drive,” he said. “I didn’t think it would be that painful, but once I landed here I felt the best I have.
“The problem is that when you sit for a long time it goes stagnant, and when you stretch out again it’s sore.
“You can’t use your abs… I can’t cough, sneeze or blow my nose.
“Supporting your body is sore, but when you’re in the race car with a seat moulded to you, with the belts on, it’s the most comfortable I’ve been.
“So I’d rather sit in the car all day than walk around and talk.”
While “nervous” before the start of the practice session, Taylor said his time in the Konica Minolta-sponsored Cadillac DPi helped put his mind to rest.
He set the seventh quickest time of the session.
“It’s a big relief to have driven the car and it felt normal,” Taylor said. “I was just a bit nervous about how it would feel, with all the belts and incisions and all that stuff.
“I felt normal in the car. It was just painful getting in and out – that’s not nice.”
Taylor said he expects to qualify and complete the entire first stint in the car, instead of just logging the minimum drive time of five minutes and potentially sacrifice the team’s strategy.
“I wouldn’t have driven if it was just for points in the bank,” he said. “There’s no risk losing a whole race.
“The team needs to win the championship. If I can do my part and get my own points, that’s good, but we wouldn’t have sacrificed it for me.”