DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Wayne Taylor Racing’s Corvette ended the Rolex 24 at Daytona in better shape than three of its drivers.
Max Angelelli parked the No. 10 car on the Daytona International Speedway road course during the cool-down lap, was helped out and transported to a local hospital for evaluation. IMSA officials said he was “conscious and stable,” but offered no further details about his condition.
Angelelli was behind the wheel for the final hours of the endurance race because brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor were feeling ill. Jordan spent the last two weeks dealing with an undisclosed illness, and Ricky woke up with stomach issues Sunday morning.
The only healthy teammate was former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello, who was added to the team just days before the twice-around-the-clock season opener.
Despite the health issues, the team notched its fourth consecutive podium finish at Daytona.
Maybe even more impressive, Wayne Taylor Racing ran a trouble-free race for the fourth straight year. But the drivers were hoping for more than another oh-so-close finish.
“I think you can imagine how frustrating it is, but it’s part of the sport,” Jordan Taylor said. “This year I think it’s especially tough because we did have a flawless race and the car that won had two penalties and went off and had all sorts of issues. We feel like we did the best we could, same as the past four years.
“Four years without a mechanical issue, without losing a lap, without going behind the wall, is quite an accomplishment for the team.”
Wayne Taylor Racing also finished second in 2013 and 2014. The team crossed the finish line third last year, but was later penalized and stripped of its third-place spot.
IMSA ruled that Jordan Taylor violated the drive-time rule late in the race, finding he was behind the wheel more than four hours during a six-hour period. The team was dropped from third to last in the 16-car class.
The team bounced back this weekend, but didn’t have enough speed to keep up with the No. 2 Extreme Speed Motorsports entry. The ESM Honda was the fastest car in the field, turning such quick laps that it was able to overcome a slew of miscues and claim the coveted Rolex watches.
“I think the most important thing for us is the team,” Ricky Taylor said. “I think that a winning performance once again. We never went back to the garage. The guys had awesome pit stops, the strategy. I think we spent four minutes less in the pits than the other cars. … We weren’t really racing (ESM), but for us we’re very disappointed to have another great run without a watch.”
The biggest problem the team faced on the track was getting Barrichello comfortable in the car. Barrichello, who’s considerably shorter than his teammates, struggled to find a rhythm.
“I drove for an hour and a half, and it looked like I was driving a Formula One for like 24 hours,” he said. “So I was pretty tired.”
The crew decided to use team owner Wayne Taylor’s old seat, which Barrichello said allowed him to be a “little bit more competitive.”
“I’m sorry that I didn’t get to drive much before because I really wanted to help it further, but I think the team did a fantastic job,” Barrichello said. “We had the fastest (Daytona Prototype) on the track and it was nice just to be able to be with all of them. I hope to be back. I love the series and I did enjoy my time with the team.”
2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle: Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Another crash while leading at Seattle dropped Chase Sexton from the top of the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings while solid performances by Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac allow them to climb the chart and threaten to make this a two-rider battle with six rounds remaining in the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season.
During the race, Webb knew he had ground to make up. Riding behind both Tomac and Sexton early in the Main, he was as far back as fifth on Lap 7 at Seattle. That position would cost him the red plate and give away the advantage he began to build with his first win of the season in Tampa. Sexton is often at his best as he battles from the back and he methodically worked his way through the field. At the end of the feature, he was nearly five seconds off Tomac’s pace, but during the past 45 days, he holds the advantage. A resurgent Tomac that could erase that advantage quickly though.
Tomac struggled in Indianapolis with a neck strain. That contributed to his worst performance of 2023 and his second result outside the top five. He finished third in Detroit two weeks ago, but it was a distant third after finishing off the podium in his heat during that round. In Seattle, it appeared the same thing might happen when Tomac finished third in the prelim behind his two principal competitors Webb and Sexton. The Main was a different story.
Tomac dropped to fourth in the opening laps behind both of his rivals early in the race, but he got around Webb on Lap 2 and kept charging. When Sexton fell to the ground on Lap 11 and dropped to fourth, Tomac was in position to strike. He scored his sixth win of the season to tie James Stewart for second on the all-time wins list. He now shares the red plate with Webb as the rounds wind down.
Sexton has the speed, but he lacks the seasoning of Webb and Tomac. He’s pressing hard on every lap and that has bitten him several times this year. Sexton’s mistakes are costing him with a 10th-place finish at Indy, the loss of seven points at Detroit and a fifth in Seattle as the riders he’s battling stood on the podium. No one seriously questions Sexton’s talent or speed, but ultimately the results are what counts.
Justin Barcia is hitting his stride. He advances two positions this week after scoring his fourth consecutive top-five and second podium in that span of races. Barcia finished between sixth and eighth in five consecutive rounds from Anaheim 2 through Arlington, but he’s mostly avoided controversy and that puts him fourth in this week’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle.
Jason Anderson had a solid performance in Seattle, but with a fifth-place finish in his heat and fourth in the Main he just keeps losing a little ground to the leaders. The biggest impact to his standing in the NBC Power Rankings is a 10th-place finish in Indianapolis that will take a while to age out of the 45-day formula. He’s tied for fourth in the championship points with Ken Roczen, who sits sixth in the rankings below. It’s important to be the rider “best in class” with Webb, Tomac and Sexton stealing the show.
The 250 West riders were back in action in Seattle and that gave Jett Lawrence the opportunity to break out of a tie with his brother Hunter Lawrence on the all-time wins list. It also provided Jett the opportunity to take back the top spot in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle.
Jett has stood on the podium in every race this year with the exception of the second Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2 and that level of perfection gives him bragging rights. Rest assured that while the two brothers have a bond that is unapparelled in motorsports, there is no one they would rather beat. Neither has been particularly successful in Triple Crown rounds this year, however, and Jett could lose his advantage in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona under that format.
A rivalry is developing between Lawrence and Cameron McAdoo. Tired of losing to the affable Australian, McAdoo pushed the envelope last week in Seattle. He crowded Lawrence in the whoops during their heat race and sent both to the ground. That frustration could bubble over with four rounds remaining. One thing is certain, when these two riders are in proximity on the track, the cameras will be aimed in their direction.
A little means a lot this season. Finishing second to Lawrence in four of five rounds, RJ Hampshire would be losing ground to the leader no matter what, but an 11th-place finish in the overall at Anaheim 2 places him eighth on the chart below behind two of the 250 West riders and five 250 East competitors.
In the mains, Levi Kitchen has been all over the board with a win, one more top-five, two results on the high side of the single digits and a crash-induced 21st at San Diego. He’s really shown his speed in the heats, however, with a perfect record of top-fives and a win.
Mitchell Oldenburg makes the top five list among West riders with a perfect record of top-10 finishes. He’s heading in the wrong direction, however, falling from ninth overall to 11th after finishing outside the top five in both his heat and the Main last week.
Jett Lawrence – W
Hunter Lawrence – E
Nate Thrasher – E
Cameron McAdoo – W
Haiden Deegan – E
Jeremy Martin – E
Jordon Smith – E
RJ Hampshire – W
Levi Kitchen – W
Max Anstie – E
Mitchell Oldenburg – W
Max Vohland – W
Tom Vialle – E
Pierce Brown – W
Enzo Lopes – W
Chris Blose – E
Chance Hymas – E
Michael Mosiman – E
Stilez Robertson – W
Phil Nicoletti – W
* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).