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Wayne Taylor on MSR Scandal: “We’re Not All the Same”

Wayne Taylor speaks out over MSR tire pressure manipulation infraction from Rolex 24…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Wayne Taylor has spoken out on Meyer Shank Racing’s tire pressure manipulation infraction from the Rolex 24 at Daytona, stating that he would have asked IMSA to relinquish the win if the roles had been reversed.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing With Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 of Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz and Brendon Hartley finished second to the No. 60 MSR entry that was found to have intentionally transmitted incorrect tire pressure data to IMSA and Michelin in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

While having been hit with a $50,000 fine, loss of all prize money, a deduction of 200 WeatherTech Championship points and all team and driver points from the Michelin Endurance Cup, the Mike Shank-led team retained its victory in the race.

Speaking exclusively to Sportscar365, Taylor said he respects the penalties imposed on MSR although been left with a bitter taste with his Acura sister team for not fully owning up to the scandal.

“I respect IMSA’s decision and I respect Honda and Acura for speaking up,” he said. “However, as a team owner, I know what I would have done if the roles were reversed.

“We haven’t had an apology by anybody at [MSR, except Jim Meyer], which I think is pretty bad. Quite honestly if it were me, I’d tell my drivers, ‘Go and give those watches to the other team.’ and I’d say, ‘You guys deserve this.’

“That’s what I would do. But that’s me. We’re not all the same.”

Taylor said they are continuing to work alongside MSR as part of Acura’s factory two-car GTP class effort although the relationship feels like it has been tainted with zero communication regarding the Daytona infraction.

“We represent Acura and HPD, so that’s what’s important,” Taylor said. “At this point, they’re still racing for them as well, so we’re still a two-car team.

“We’ve got to do everything to give them the manufacturers’ championship and we’d obviously like to win the drivers’ championship and the teams’ championship.

“We’ve still got to work together but it’s very difficult for me. I don’t condone any of this kind of behavior.

“It’s pointless getting involved because you don’t want to antagonize anything and you don’t want to pull HPD, Honda and Acura through the mud any more than they’ve already been pulled through.

“They don’t deserve this. They really don’t and I feel David Salters [HPD President], especially David, because this is so personal for him.

“This was his project and the last thing I’d want is for him to have any more upset and sleepless nights.

“They produced a f***** awesome car, a f****** awesome engine, ORECA has been a great partner. All of our partners have been good.

“[IMSA] decided to give them win and it stands, and I respect that. Now we’ve got the lead of the championship and the Michelin Endurance Cup, and we’ve got the best pit [space].

“We just have to go race by race as we normally do and put this out of our heads.”

Albuquerque: “Lack of Respect” from MSR for No Apology

Albuquerque added that he nor any members of the WTR Andretti team received an apology from MSR, which has added further tension heading into this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

“For me what gets me not happy about the situation is the lack of an apology,” he told Sportscar365. “We’re teammates and we fight hard to be ahead of each other.

“But I never got any apologies from anyone at Meyer Shank Racing. Zero. Not from the drivers, which I know then, not from the team owner, not a single person in Wayne Taylor Racing got an apology.

“There was not even an apology from Meyer Shank Racing but a really short Tweet saying sorry only to the manufacturer, which is super upset at them. They don’t even apologize to the series, to their rivals, especially Cadillac, because they were fighting there as well.

“Also not to us, because we’re their teammates. I find that a lack of respect. But this is my opinion.

“Sometimes I’m over the line when I’m racing. I review what I did. If I’m wrong and if it’s unanimous that I’m wrong, I stop and apologize to the person that I overstepped, I did wrong and I would apologize.

“A good example of that is the situation with me and Ricky [at 2017 Rolex 24]. He didn’t apologize for the incident that we had. He just came to me and explained himself. And off we went. We were all clear.

“But when this doesn’t happen, it’s because of lack of character, lack of integrity, and everything. That tears apart the spirit of racing.”

Sportscar365 attempted to reach Mike Shank for comment although was declined access by team representatives.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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