Date: Jan. 28, 2016
Event: 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona (Round 1 of 10)
Series: Prototype division of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (3.56-mile, 12-turn road course)
Pole Winner: Mikhail Aleshin of SMP Racing (2:05.793 at 101.882 mph)
Wayne Taylor Racing: 4th by Ricky Taylor (2:07.966 at 100.152 mph)
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) will start this weekend’s season-opening 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona from the outside of the second row after a wet IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session Thursday afternoon at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Ricky Taylor, who with his brother and full-time co-driver Jordan Taylor is sharing the No. 10 Corvette DP driving duties this weekend with veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli and Formula 1 veteran Rubens Barrichello, clocked a fast qualifying lap of 2 minutes 7.966 seconds at 100.152 mph on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn superspeedway road course. It was fastest by more than two seconds than the next-best Corvette DP in the field and was good for fourth overall among 54 car-and-driver combinations that will take the green flag Saturday for America’s iconic, twice-around-the-clock endurance race.
“It was the wettest qualifying I’ve ever done and it was just a matter of who was willing to take the most risk,” said Ricky Taylor, the 2015 season’s TOTAL Pole Qualifying Award Winner who put the No. 10 Corvette DP sixth on the grid here in 2014 and seventh last year. “We decided to come in with about three-and-a-half minutes to go in the session because I didn’t want to do one more lap than I had to – I just wasn’t in control of the car in the straights. We just got a clean lap when the conditions were the best – or, should I say, the least bad. It’s nice to be the fastest of the DPs. We’ve had an excellent rain car for quite some time, now. I think the race is going to be an altogether different story, although I can say we also have a good car in the dry. We have the best team and this is better than we’ve started here the last couple of years. This is hopefully the end of the rain for the rest of the weekend. I’m glad that session is over.”
The top-five qualifiers for this weekend’s 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona are:
1. SMP Racing (No. 37 Nissan BR01) with Nikhail Aleshin, Maurizio Mediani, Nicolas Minassian, Kirill Ladygin (2:05.793 at 101.882 mph)
2. Tequila Patron ESM (No. 2 Honda HPD Ligier JS P2) with Luis Felipe Derani, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ed Brown (2:06.304 at 101.469 mph)
3. Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian (No. 60 Honda HPD Ligier JS P2) with Oswaldo Negri, John Pew, A.J. Allmendinger, Olivier Pla (2:07.432 at 100.571 mph)
4. Wayne Taylor Racing (No. 10 Corvette DP) with Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Rubens Barrichello (2:07.966 at 100.152 mph)
5. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (No. 01 Ford Riley DP) with Alex Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Lance Stroll, Andy Priaulx (2:08.639 at 99.628 mph)
Race time is 2:40 p.m. EST Saturday with FS1 kicking off the live television coverage beginning at 2 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and the IMSA smartphone app.
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