Jordan Taylor admits that having Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship veterans Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi as co-drivers for the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona will bring plenty of media attention to the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R he shares with Renger van der Zande.
However, that was not the main reason they’re in the lineup.
“We wanted them because they want to win the race, just like we do,” Taylor said. “They want to win that Rolex, and they’re willing to work hard to do it. I think it’s a pretty strong lineup.”
Taylor ran solo in the No. 10 Cadillac on Tuesday for the Michelin tire test at Daytona International Speedway, which saw cars from all four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes in addition to representatives from the Michelin Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge series. The test was held in un-Florida-like conditions, with temperatures dipping into the 40s.
“Daytona is a very unique track, so whenever you can get track time here, you try to make the most of it,” Taylor said. “We’re trying to run as many miles as we can do on Michelin tires to learn what it takes to make that tire perform at its best to prepare for the Rolex. It’s our Super Bowl of the year. You want to get the car right for this race. We’ll do a lot of long runs later today on the car to see how the tire drops off, and the team will keep making little setup adjustments to extract the best out of the tire.”
To maximize the test, the team opted to go with one driver to best learn how the car reacted to the new tire.
“We wanted to go with one driver to run through our plan,” Taylor said. “That way, you can make back-to-back changes all day to see how the car’s changing. It’s a lot different going to Michelin, and we’re seeing how the car adjusts to the new tires. The other guys will come in for the Roar (January 4-6). They’re all professionals; they’ll come up to speed.”