Will Stevens has confirmed that he has parted ways with Wayne Taylor Racing after driving for the Acura DPi team in two of this season’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds.
Stevens represented WTR at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring but was recently replaced by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 Acura ARX-05 for the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans in two weeks’ time.
Explaining his future with the team, Stevens told Sportscar365 that he will not be working with WTR on the Acura ARX-06 LMDh program next year.
The British driver currently leads the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 points standings and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in class alongside his JOTA co-drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez.
Stevens, who is also a McLaren Formula 1 test driver, confirmed that he has secured a currently unannounced drive at the top level of prototype racing next year.
“There are a lot of changes coming in WEC and IMSA, with new categories,” he told Sportscar365.
“And I’ve had to take decisions on where I feel the best opportunities are for me, not only for now but in the longer term.
“I took those decisions of what I want to be doing going forward. Some of those have consequences, and I know where I’m going to be and what I’ll be doing.
“I’ve got no issue at all with Wayne. It was decisions that I took for where I felt was the best place for me going forward.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in IMSA. I’ve loved the racing and working with all the guys on the team – Wayne, Ricky [Taylor] and Filipe [Albuquerque]. It’s been great.
“I would have loved to have done Petit, but with everything that’s been going on the last few months, I understand.”
Stevens explained that his absence from the ten-hour enduro at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta came down to the timing of negotiations about his 2023 drive.
This was corroborated by WTR team owner Wayne Taylor when approached by Sportscar365.
Stevens added that he had “different options” on the table for next year, but only one of those could materialize due to teams and manufacturers wanting more exclusivity in the new era of prototype racing where LMDh and LMH cars can run in both the WEC and the WeatherTech Championship.
“It’s the first time in my career when I’ve had different options,” he explained.
“It’s a nice thing, and everyone wishes to be in that position when you have some really good programs which people want you to be a part of. I was in that situation.
“It’s super difficult because they’re all amazing and I would love to be part of them all.
“But with the new rules and everything coming in, it’s much more exclusivity towards teams and brands. To combine programs is becoming more and more difficult.
“I had to make decisions on what I feel would be the best going forward, and that’s what I did. I’ve got no hard feelings towards Wayne or any of them; they’ve been very good to me.
“It’s just one of those things, and they understand the reasons for everything. I’m happy with where I’m going to be and looking forward to the future.”