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IMSA: Jordan Taylor ready to race days after emergency appendectomy

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Taylor practiced Friday morning on the streets of Long Beach, and the IMSA DPI points leader seems ready for Saturday’s 100-minute sprint race after undergoing an emergency appendectomy while on vacation in Hawaii.

Team owner Wayne Taylor, who is also the driver’s father, told NBCSports.com and the Associated Press after the opening session that his son was “fine” after getting behind the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac Dpi-V.R that he shares with Renger van der Zande.

“He’s been off painkillers since Tuesday morning,” Wayne Taylor said of his son. “He’s only on Tylenol. It’s amazing.”

Wayne Taylor said his son woke up in pain on the last day of a three-day trip to Hawaii. Jordan Taylor was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he underwent the surgery late Monday night and stayed for a couple of days. Jordan and Wayne Taylor flew to California late Thursday night, and Jordan Taylor was at the track by 5 a.m. Friday for practice.

According to IMSA rules, Taylor would have been eligible to earn points by spending at least five minutes behind the wheel in Saturday’s race, but Wayne Taylor said he’s expecting his son to handle a full load in splitting stints with van der Zende.

“He’s not going to get out of the car,” Wayne Taylor said.

Kamui Kobayashi was summoned from Monaco to be on standby.

“We asked Kobayashi to come out just in case,” Taylor said. “We checked with IMSA, and (Jordan) was cleared. He had to be here at 5 a.m. to make sure he could get in the car.”

The Wayne Taylor Racing team of Taylor, van der Zande, Kobayashi and Fernando Alonso combined to win the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Taylor, van der Zande and Matthieu Vaxiviere finished second last month at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The No. 10 has three consecutive top-two finishes dating to last season (including a victory in the 2018 finale at Petit Le Mans).