While some of its competition has been logging lots of test miles over the past couple of months, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R from Wayne Taylor Racing returned to the racetrack for the first time since October’s 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans in this week’s test at Daytona International Speedway.
The team, which won the 2017 Prototype title with co-drivers Jordan and Ricky Taylor, is sporting a new look and new line-up for 2018, as Ricky Taylor joined the new Acura Team Penske program and Renger van der Zande moved over from Visit Florida Racing as Jordan Taylor’s new full-season teammate.
“It’s good to have Renger,” said Jordan Taylor. “We haven’t had a ton of driving time together. Yesterday, he was in the car a little bit and right up to speed, as expected. He fits in really well with the team. He’s got a great personality and a good sense of humor. I think with our team, we’ve got a lot of guys that like to have a good time. We take things seriously, but at the same time, we can throw some jokes around. Renger fits in very well with that.
“Driving-wise, he seems to fit right in. It’s still going to take some time to understand driving styles, how we fit together, and how the engineer works with us both in compromising the setup. It’s a good start, and I’m glad we could have this December test as a little prep heading into the Roar.”
At least in terms of on-track activity, the workload has been somewhat lighter than it was a year ago as the team readied the new Cadillac DPi-V.R for its WeatherTech Championship debut. The hard work paid immediate dividends, as they won the first five races of the season on their way to the 2017 title. Jordan was eager to get back on track this week.
“Any time you can get out testing, especially here at Daytona, it’s valuable,” he said. “We haven’t been on track since Petit, so it’s valuable for us to get the car back on track and get learning. Last year at Daytona, we had our brand-new Cadillac and we did a lot of testing, but no real development on the car. Over 2017, we developed it, obviously, so now is the time that we can put that all together and see how it translates to Daytona. We’re excited to be back. It’s great to be here in the run up to the Rolex and the Roar Before the 24.”