With the veil finally lifted over the highly anticipated Cadillac Daytona Prototype international (DPi), attention now turns to its expected performance in next year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. One might think the thought of running a completely new car would create some nervousness for two of its full-season drivers, Jordan and Ricky Taylor of Wayne Taylor Racing, but in actuality, that is far from the truth.
“Right out of the box, the car ran very smoothly,” said Ricky Taylor. “After five days of testing, we’re quite confident. This is the first time I’ve properly been involved with the development of a completely new car. With the Daytona Prototypes, it was always just about refining a known platform.”
“I think that’s been the most interesting part, learning from the ground up,” added Jordan Taylor. “As drivers, there are all-new tools available to us. Learning about all the new things we can work with to improve the car has been very interesting.”
Dallara, the constructor of the global LM P2 platform which provides the chassis for the Cadillac DPi-V.R, has been instrumental to the testing and development efforts. The car has tested at Putnam Park, Watkins Glen International, Charlotte Motor Speedway and the track at the Corvette Museum, each time primarily led by Dallara engineers, who will provide support to Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express throughout the season.
“Having Dallara with us for the year will be great, because the past few years, we knew exactly what we had going into the race, never went behind pit wall and always finished on the lead lap,” Jordan Taylor said. “Going into this year, there’s definitely a fear of the unknown.”
In addition to Dallara, Wayne Taylor Racing has support from legendary NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, who will join the team at the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona, a race which he ran with the team back in 2007.
“In 2007, it was a new experience for him, but the DPs back then were basically a stiff version of a NASCAR Cup car, but now things are completely different,” explained Ricky Taylor. “It’ll be a bit of a learning curve, but from his first day in the car, he was very good. He came right up to speed and showed a lot of confidence. When he gets behind the wheel, you easily see why he’s so successful.”
For the Taylor brothers, Gordon’s addition is just an incredible added bonus.
“When I met him at our seat fitting, it was just like meeting any normal person,” said Jordan Taylor. “He was extremely down to earth, asking questions and trying to learn about the race car. Coming from someone like Jeff Gordon, who’s a household name around the world, it was surreal.”
December Test At Daytona Features 28 Entries
On Dec. 13-14, IMSA will hold a second test at Daytona International Speedway in continued preparation for January’s Rolex 24. The provisional entry list, consisting of 28 cars across the Prototype, GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, was released yesterday.
Highlighting the list are DPi examples from Cadillac and Mazda, which will finally participate in an open test alongside other WeatherTech Championship competitors after conducting several private tests each. The Nissan DPi, which will be fielded by Tequila Patrón ESM, is not expected to attend the test.
Mazda Motorsports will focus its efforts on just one RT24-P next week, while the Cadillac DPi-V.R will be represented by a trio – two for Action Express Racing and one for Wayne Taylor Racing.
Breaking cover for the first time will be the Gibson-powered Multimatic Riley LM P2, making its first laps with Visit Florida Racing. The Multimatic Riley is one of the four globally eligible LM P2 spec cars, with Onroak, Dallara and ORECA providing the other three. While not attending next week’s test, the Onroak Ligier JS P217 participated in IMSA’s open test last month with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.
In GTLM, eight cars will partake in testing, with representatives from each of the five expected full-season teams on-site. Defending champion Corvette Racing will bring two Corvette C7.Rs, and 24 Hour of Le Mans winners Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will have its pair of Ford GTs as well. Porsche North America, which recently unveiled the brand new Porsche 911 RSR, will bring two cars, while BMW Team RLL and Risi Competizione each plan to bring a single car to the test.
The GTD class makes up the largest segment of the entry list, with 15 cars expected. As was the case at the November test, all of the series newcomers will be in attendance, as three Mercedes AMG GT3s will be on hand with two Acura NSX GT3s and a single Lexus RC F GT3.
While there will be many new cars at the test, there will be plenty of familiar faces as well, including the reigning 2016 GTD champion, Scuderia Corsa. Four Lamborghini Huracán GT3s will represent Lamborghini, with two Audi R8 LMS GT3 and two Porsche 911 GT3 R entries expected.