Running in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with his two sons seemed like a distant dream for Wayne Taylor, but on Tuesday, after testing in the same car for the first time with both Ricky and Jordan, the two-time race-winner feels it's a lot closer to becoming reality.
Taylor Snr still has the priority of running the #10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara team at the Rolex 24; a family team would be run independent of that. There are a lot of logistics to be overcome, but the test may prove that they are not insurmountable.
“It's anybody in racing's dream to have this opportunity,” the 52-year-old confessed. “Jeff [Beyer] made this possible. I always said I'd love to do it. I knew we needed to get through these three days, so I can get a better feel for the car and how it might work.
“The greatest thing is to help my sons with the understanding of the car and what goes on. It's not about the speed for me anymore; it's about trying to do this. If I can do a 24-hour with them, I could say I have done everything.”
The only time all three Taylors have raced together was in a 24-hour karting race in Ocala – which they won three years ago.
This past January, Ricky joined his dad in finishing fifth overall in the Rolex 24, while Jordan drove for a GT team. Since then, both sons have driven in selected Rolex Series races, with Jordan moving up to the Daytona Prototypes with Beyer Racing in the Brumos Porsche 250 here in July.
“Being here with Beyer Racing and the Ford Crawford is fantastic,” enthused Ricky. “We've got a lot to learn, but we're maximising these test days. I think we'll run well together if we get the chance. It will definitely be fun if we can get it to work out.”
Jordan Taylor is doing extra duty this week, also testing the #30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8.
Meanwhile, the TRG camp is showing well. Andy Lally and Spencer Pumpelly both recorded strong results in last season's Rolex 24 At Daytona, with Lally second and Pumpelly third, and the pair were fast again in the first two days of Rolex Series testing.
Lally is expected to run a comparable schedule in 2009 to that of 2008, running select Rolex Series races while mostly focusing on ARCA and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Pumpelly will run full-time in 2009 with TRG in the Rolex GT and KONI Challenge GS Series.
“I'm really happy to be here this week, and thankful to run with Kevin and the rest of the team,” commented Lally. “It's good to be back in the car. We've tried some different things. We'll be back again next month and hopefully, when the race gets here, we'll be in a position to move up one spot from last year.”