Wayne Taylor Racing is hoping to sweep the opening two rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. (IMSA photo)
SEBRING, Fla. – Just because they won the season opener, the drivers and crew at Wayne Taylor Racing aren’t resting on any laurels.
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 spent a couple days recently testing at Sebring Int’l Raceway in a bid to earn the Florida double of winning the Rolex 24 and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to start the season.
Filipe Albuquerque, who drove the nail-biting final laps to the checkered flag at Daytona Int’l Speedway in January, said the Sebring test was a success.
“We went through the checklist that we had to do,” Albuquerque said. “We were competitive in the way that we were happy with the car balance, but we need to wait for the competition to show their hand and see where we are compared to them.”
Ricky Taylor, the other full-season driver in the No. 10, said the test allowed WTR to zero in on ways to make the car stronger over the notoriously rough Sebring circuit. The Cadillac DPi cars are said to handle the Sebring bumps better than the Acuras, but Taylor said there are other areas where the Acura can make up for it.
“You always have to understand what your car does well and what it doesn’t do well,” Taylor said. “We’ve been able to exploit the areas where we’re really strong to a point, to where I feel like when we come to Sebring, we’re strong – even if we aren’t as good over the bumps.”
Speaking of coming to Sebring, WTR’s third driver Alexander Rossi has felt more like a Sebring resident than a guest recently. Between his fulltime job as an IndyCar driver for Andretti Autosport and his WeatherTech Championship endurance-race gig for WTR, the 2016 Indy 500 winner has logged plenty of time at the Central Florida track.
“I’ve spent a lot of days at Sebring,” Rossi said. “I should probably get a house here, the amount of time I’ve spent here the past couple months. It’s been busy but it’s great. I’ve been getting to drive a race car almost every week, which is good.”
The last prototype team to win the Rolex 24 and Sebring 12 Hours in the same season? Wayne Taylor Racing in 2017, with Ricky Taylor among the drivers.