Ricky Taylor to make ELMS debut with DragonSpeed
DragonSpeed has announced that reigning IMSA Prototype champion Ricky Taylor will join its WEC drivers Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman for the ACO European Le Mans Series season-opener.
Hedman and Hanley will be joined by a different 'guest star' driver at each ELMS event, with Taylor – who won January’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona on his return to Wayne Taylor Racing – taking the third ride for the ELMS season-opener at Barcelona.
DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said: "Our ELMS program is really designed to support our WEC effort. Carrying over a Bronze-plus-two-pros lineup to the ELMS will help sharpen our WEC Pro/Am campaign in terms of driver preparation, race strategy, and acclimating to the new spec Goodyear tires.
“Having the ELMS Prologue and first round at Barcelona is a bonus, given that our shop is just five minutes from the circuit. The ELMS races are also a perfect way for us to bring some great drivers into the team as 'guest stars' with an eye on our ambition to compete at the top level of global sportscar racing."
Taylor won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with WTR in 2017 before switching to the Acura Team Penske program for three years, culminating in last year’s championship. With Penske withdrawing from IMSA, WTR took over the running of one of Acura’s ARX-05s, and Taylor returned “home” and helped deliver victory in the season opener at Daytona.
He and Filipe Albuquerque now lead the championship, after backing up the Rolex 24 triumph with fourth place in last Saturday’s Twelve Hours of Sebring.
"I've always admired DragonSpeed's accomplishments on and off the track,” said Taylor, “so I'm excited and grateful for the chance to join the team alongside Henrik and Ben.
“My ELMS debut will let me combine my enjoyment of racing LMP2 with a shot at the top step of the podium as part of a team that's been there many times. Thanks to Elton and Henrik for the opportunity to make a contribution to the effort!"
The #21 DragonSpeed Oreca-Gibson takes to the track in Barcelona for the ELMS pre-season test and 4-hour race from 13 to 18 April in its build-up to the WEC Prologue and 6-hour enduro at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit from 26 April to 1 May.
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