Saturday, July 15, 2017

"5-Time IMSA WSC Champ" Wayne Taylor Born - July 15, 1956

July 15, 1956
Wayne Taylor
(Photo; waynetaylorracing.com)
Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Taylor is a South African sports car racing driver and team owner. He won the 1986 South African National Drivers Championship. In 1987 he finished fourth in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He moved to the FIA World Sportscar Championship. He competed in the C2 class in 1988, and moved to the C1 class in 1989. He also competed in the IMSA Camel GT series from 1989 through 1993. From 1991 through 1993, he was one of the lead drivers for the Intrepid RM-1 GTP program.

He won the IMSA WSC class in 1994, with second place finishes in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. He was once more IMSA WSC champion in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998. In 1998 he won the Petit Le Mans and the prototype class in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

He competed in the American Le Mans Series in 1999. From 2000 to 2002, he was a central part of the Cadillac Le Mans effort. It was handled by his long-time technical partner in 2000 Bob Riley before the chassis program was moved in England and an updated car was built for 2001, followed by a completely new car, the LMP-02, in 2002. Unfortunately, it was not successful against Audi's R8 and even privately entered LMPs, so GM discontinued the program at the end of the year. Taylor tried to secure funding to run a privateer effort with the car, but instead eventually continued with Cadillac in the Speed World Challenge CTS-V effort.

He won the 1996 and 2005 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 2005 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype drivers' championship. He drove for SunTrust Racing with Max Angelelli. He co-drove in the 2006 International Race of Champions in the United States with Angelelli.

Taylor now owns and manages his own team. Taylor's team won its second Grand-Am championship in 2013 with Angelelli co-driving with his son Jordan Taylor. Wayne's older son Ricky Taylor is also a Grand-Am regular and was Angelelli's regular teammate until Jordan replaced him in 2013.

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