Wayne Taylor’ Racings legendary blue and black colours will fly on an Acura in Future
There’s been a major shift in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Daytona Prototype International class ahead of the 2021 season. And General Motors and Cadillac’s loss appears to be Acura and Honda’s gain.
Team Penske delivered double titles for Acura in the top IMSA DPi class over the past two seasons. Penske has however opted not to continue in IMSA. Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing will now each run an Acura ARX-05 from 2021. Honda IndyCar team MSR has run Acura’s NSX program in the GT Daytona class for the past four years. Its promotion to the premier IMSA level was expected and well deserved.
Taylor ShiftING to Acura is Significant
Wayne Taylor Racing’s shift to Acura is however significant. It ends of a long and successful championship-winning relationship with General Motors. That included WTR winning the inaugural DPi title in 2017 with the Cadillac DPi-V.R.
WTR won three of the last four Rolex Daytona 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hour and Petit Le Mans. The team also won two IMSA Driver’s Championships, the 2017 Daytona Prototype Championship and contributed to eight IMSA Manufacturer Titles.
“We have enjoyed a great run with Cadillac, but so has Acura,” team boss Wayne Taylor pointed out. “All of us at Wayne Taylor Racing look forward to partnering Acura and HPD and adding to their achievements.”
A long-time General Motors ally, Taylor’s association with Acura however dates back to 1992. He won on debut at Laguna Seca as Acura secured the Manufacturer’s Championship that year. “Our new partnership with Acura brings us the stability to remain championship contenders for years to come.”
A Glittering SportsCar RACING Career
Like 1979 F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter and fellow SA Champion Ian Scheckter, Taylor hails from East London, South Africa. Taylor headed overseas in the early ’90s, where he has since carved a stellar career. Wayne is a double Daytona 24, Sebring 12 Hour and Petit Le Mans winner. And a prototype winner at the Le Mans 24 Hour too.
Taylor’s sons have since established themselves as leading drivers racing for their dad and elsewhere. Son Ricky was a driving force in Penske’s Acura. He and Helio Castroneves piped his dad’s Cadillac to the 2020 IMSA DPi title. Taylor’s team’s move across to Acura is significant.
Wayne Taylor Racing will also field an all-new driver lineup in its number 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 next year. WTR Monday confirmed that Ricky Taylor will return to his dad’s team after three years away. He will drive alongside sportscar veteran Filipe Albuquerque. Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi joins them for the endurance races,. And three-time Indy winner Castroneves will be the fourth driver in January’s Daytona 24.
“I’m excited to secure three men who drove the Acura with such success,” Wayne Taylor confirmed. “Changing to Acura, I wanted consistency in our drivers and that’s one thing we can tick off the list.”
Shank is Ready to Win Too
Meyer Shank Racing has meanwhile confirmed Dane Cameron and Olivier Pla as its full-time drivers. AJ Allmendinger is the team’s Daytona extra. The team is yet to confirm its third endurance driver. “It’s a big moment in our history,” team boss Meyer Shank admitted. “We have worked towards the opportunity to fight for overall wins. I am thrilled and eager to get going.”
It is understood that the teams will each receive a new ORECA-built biturbo V6 Acura ARX-05. Second cars will be supplied after Penske returns its two ARX-05s.
Either way, there will be a certain shift of power at the head of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar field. As Shank moves up and Taylor across to commence a new era for Acura in the series.