Wayne Taylor’s “ultimate” goal of having his own team compete at the 24 Hour of Le Mans is closer to a possibility as he hopes to get Cadillac “focused” on a potential program following the ACO/IMSA convergence.
The tie-up between the two major sports car sanctioning bodies, which was announced Friday at Daytona International Speedway, centers around the creation of the LMDh formula that will be eligible for both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Taylor and team co-owner Max Angelelli notched up WTR’s third Rolex 24 at Daytona overall victory on Sunday with Cadillac, with the former suggesting the success will provide a boost for the program.
The South African, who himself won at Daytona twice in his driving career, admitted he is “excited” by the convergence announcement which brings WTR a step closer to being on the grid at Le Mans.
Taylor was involved in Cadillac’s last run at Le Mans from 2000-2002 when they competed with Riley & Scott-built Northstar LMP cars before he founded his own team in the U.S. in 2004.
“The thing with the Cadillac is we’ve been around longer than anyone else,” he said. “What this achievement should mean is that Cadillac pays us a lot of money and says, ‘You guys are the factory team.’
“The good thing is I’m 63 years old and can get away with saying what I want.
“But the truth is that with all the discussions about IMSA and the ACO, I can’t think of anything more exciting for me, Max and this team to be able to go with Cadillac and try and win the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“Somehow we’re going to have to get Cadillac and GM focused on this. We’ll figure that out; it would be good to take this group to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and win overall.”
WTR’S Corporate Parties Interested in Le Mans
While he hopes the top-class convergence will encourage Cadillac to look into a program for the first opportunity to go to Le Mans in 2022, Taylor says there is also interest within the team on the corporate side.
“I’ve spent my life in sports car racing and there’s been nothing bigger than winning this race [Rolex 24], championships, but Le Mans is always the ultimate,” said Taylor.
“What I’m hoping this brings us is sponsors which we all need… sometimes you undersell to your sponsor and then you can’t get them to spend any more because they say ‘you were winning with X, why do you want more money now?’.
“But with this new program and going to Le Mans I’m hoping this gives us a little more leverage to talk to these partners and the manufacturers as well.
“If we can continue to show we can consistently win these long distance races, then I think that’s what the manufacturers want.
“Plus, I have corporate partners who have already said to me ‘Wayne we’re a global brand, we love Le Mans’ and are wanting to do races in other markets.”