TUSC: Wayne Taylor reflects after first stint in four years

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Wayne Taylor has completed his first stint in a race car in the last four years, as he stepped out of his eponymous No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP.

Taylor, a two-time former overall winner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, was reflective and pensive – almost a bit shaken – after the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Risi Competizione accident that caused a red flag.

“Memo’s (Gidley) accident put a damper on the evening for me. It puts everything into perspective,” Taylor told assembled reporters in the Daytona International Speedway press room.

“My stint was OK. I haven’t driven for four years. It was pretty tough,” he added, actually describing his stint. “I wanted to get in after (Ricky). We had a plan where Ricky would start, and if there’d be a caution in the second stint, I’d get in. But if no caution, we’d put Max (Angelelli) in and I’d go into into the evening. That would allow me to be in the nighttime. It was the safest thing to do.”

Taylor also had less than complimentary words of some of the gentlemen drivers in the race. Some classes require Silver and/or Bronze-rated drivers to complete the driver lineups.

“I’ve always believed in the 110 percent rule,” Wayne Taylor explained. “I always believed that every driver should have to qualify. The car… I don’t think the car qualifying is necessarily OK when you have paying drivers that quite honestly aren’t good enough to be on the track, I’ve always believed they bring this rule in.

“They just need to stay on line and we’d find a way around them. They change their mind and run in the middle of the track, safe with room on right and left.”

It was a sentiment SRT Viper factory driver Dominik Farnbacher echoed in the next media availability.

“Without saying any names, there are some people who don’t know where to go,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.