Ricky Taylor defends Rolex 24-deciding Albuquerque clash
Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac driver Ricky Taylor has defended the move which netted victory in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, and caused the rival DPi-V.R of Filipe Albuquerque to spin.
Following their clash at Turn 1 in the dramatic closing moments of the 55th running of the American sportscar classic, Albuquerque said he would have been “ashamed” to win in such fashion.
But Taylor stood his ground over the legitimacy of the maneuver – over which stewards took no action and teammate Jeff Gordon said was a “great move”.
“Obviously I’d been working on it for a while, looking at where we were strong, and it’s the 24 Hours so everybody is going to take a risk,” said Taylor. “I don’t understand what he says about closing the door and getting hit.
“The way I saw it, we came through GT traffic and I was closer than I’d been [before]. He’d been struggling in Turn 1, their car didn’t look very good there. And we were really strong on the brakes and so I’ve thought about doing this [move] for years and years.
“People always open up after that little kink, they open their hands a little bit and it’s so easy to just release the brake and pop in there. If you get enough alongside, you can make it work.
“I think he saw me coming, he saw me committing and, like he said, he closed the door.
“I think Beaux [Barfield, race director] always talks about shared responsibility and if he knew I was committing, why would you close the door and make us crash?
“From my perspective, I wanted to win terribly, it was Max [Angelelli]’s last race, there was a lot of emotions going on. We were either going to make a move and win, or sit there in second and wait until next year, basically.”
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