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No family reunion for Taylor.


Wayne Taylor will not be achieving one of his dreams in the 2009 Rolex 24, having decided to run with SunTrust rather than form a family alliance with sons Ricky and Jordan in the new #13 Beyer Racing Ford Crawford.

The veteran tested with his offspring in October in the hope of running as a family in the Rolex 24, but will now be keeping an eye on his sons' efforts from afar. Taylor loaned Beyer Racing his two Pontiac Rileys for the test, and the team kept one of them - the car SunTrust used to finish fifth in the 2008 Rolex 24 and third in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen - for Daytona this week.

Elsewhere, another big name was all but confirmed as returning for the Grand-Am season-opener as Michael Shank Racing said that NASCAR's AJ Allmendinger - who qualified second in the team's #6 car this year - would be back at Daytona in January. Shank is close to filling out the roster for the enduro, but leaning toward veteran sports car drivers as opposed to open-wheel stars.

Last year, MSR ran the Rolex with a new package - an updated Riley chassis and Ford engines - and with IndyCar stars Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal coming aboard. While there is a driver change on the #6 this year, with Michael Valiante joining the team, the #60 entry co-driven by Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson will remain the same.

"The recipe of the cake was working pretty good, so we kept everything the same," Negri said, "That's good, because we can develop from what we had last year. Everything with the test is going great, as always. The team does a fantastic job. We have a real good car and it's very competitive. We're experimenting with the new Pirelli tyres, which are really good, almost the same as the old ones. They give us a lot of confidence that we can do the same in 2009."

One IndyCar driver of the past, motorcycle legend Jeff Ward, is hoping to land a ride at the Rolex 24 and is testing with Spirit of Daytona. The seven-time AMA motocross champion joined superbike ace Scott Russell and Guy Cosmo as he seeks to return to the Daytona classic for a second time after driving the Ford Keiler KII in the 1997 event.

Spirit of Daytona's #09 Porsche Coyote is sporting the updated bodywork, but still carrying the black-and-gold colours raced by Cheever Racing last season. The team is expecting delivery of a new Coyote in the very near future.

In the GT class, SpeedSource tested no fewer than ten drivers on Tuesday as it seeks to build on its domination of recent events at Daytona. The team's #70 Mazda RX-8 has won the last three GT races at the Florida venue, including the 2008 Rolex 24, and SpeedSource brought both of its cars to Tuesday's test, complete with the seven drivers listed to contest seats in the #70.

Rolex 24 winners Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham participated in the test, and will be joined in January's race by David Haskell. Vying for the fourth seat, however, are four drivers - all Mazdaspeed Motorsport Development Ladder drivers - including three who have never competed in the 24-hour class before. Ben Devlin, Joel Miller and Jason Saini would like to put the Rolex 24 on their resume, while Jonathan Bomarito participated in the race in 2005 in a Daytona Prototype. Bomarito, Devlin and Miller are all open-wheel veterans - indeed, Miller had never competed in a roofed car before this test - while Saini is a sportscar veteran in Mazda Miatas and MX-5 Cup cars.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]

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