Reigning IMSA DPi champion and Rolex 24 at Daytona winner Ricky Taylor has been named ORECA’s designated reserve driver for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Taylor has been contracted to the French constructor — amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — to serve as a substitute driver “if need arises” within any team fielding an Oreca 07 Gibson in the event.
A total of 24 ORECA chassis are entered in LMP2 for this year’s race.
Taylor has six previous starts in the French endurance classic, most recently in 2019 at the wheel of Jackie Chan DC Racing’s Oreca in LMP2.
“Over the past four years the work between Acura and ORECA has seen some great success, thank you to Acura and WTR for releasing me for this event,” said Taylor.
“It has been wonderful to build the relationship with such an accomplished constructor. I’d also like to thank Mr. De Chaunac for having me. ORECA has an amazing history at Le Mans and it’s an honor to be named as their reserve driver.”
ORECA Group Customer Racing program manager Anthony Megevand added: “We strive to support our teams at the highest level and given the context this year, we have decided to make available a reserve driver for the 2021 24 Hours.
“Bringing on Ricky quickly became a no-brainer. He has everything a driver needs to do Le Mans. He has experienced the race, he knows the ORECA 07, he is fast and has excellent adaptability.
“Ricky is a top-notch athlete and someone we greatly admire as a person. We are truly fortunate to have such a talented driver like Ricky with us and thank both Wayne Taylor Racing and HPD for agreeing to release him for this event.”
While typically a rare occurrence, substitute drivers have been utilized at Le Mans in the past although is subject to the approval of the race stewards.
Patrick Pilet was a last minute replacement for Dwight Merriman in the No. 17 IDEC Sport Oreca last year after a back injury from an accident ruled out the Bronze-rated driver.