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Ricky Taylor headed to Penske Racing

The rumors were true, Ricky Taylor is leaving the family race team and will fill the last vacant full time seat at Penske Racing's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program. Taylor will join Helio Castroneves in one of the two Penske Racing Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International machines. The second Penske car will be driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.

At Petit Le Mans, Taylor clinched the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Prototype title racing alongside his younger brother Jordan. Wayne Taylor Racing enjoyed a dominant start to 2017, winning a record five-consecutive races to start the season, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ricky has earned 19 wins in prototype competition since 2008. Taylor's first opportunity to work with Team Penske came in February of this year when he tested the Indy car, normally driven by Pagenaud, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course.

“It was a great experience getting a chance to test an Indy car with Team Penske, but to get a call from Roger Penske offering the opportunity to drive one of his race cars full time – well, that’s a life-changing opportunity,” said Taylor. “We have had a lot of success in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship the last few seasons with my dad’s team, including winning both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Championship this year. I’m definitely ready for the next challenge in my career and I couldn’t be more excited to join Team Penske and work with Helio, Juan and Dane to launch the new factory Acura effort and start winning with the ARX-05 in 2018.”

In addition, Graham Rahal and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Simon Pagenaud will join the program as endurance drivers when the team makes its competition debut with the Acura prototype sports cars at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January and the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

“This will be a dream come true to get to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring for Roger Penske, someone who not only means a lot to sports car racing, but motorsports in general,” said Rahal. “I’m excited for the opportunity and I really look forward to racing the Acura ARX-05. I’ve been fortunate enough to race with the Acura brand already and had a good time running the Acura NSX at Daytona this past season. It’s exciting to move to an Acura prototype for next year’s Rolex 24. I’m going to do everything I can to help my teammates and hopefully get my second overall win in January.”

“Adding a champion sports car driver in Ricky will help our team grow and develop,” said Roger Penske. “Ricky had a phenomenal season in 2017. He brings a great deal of sports car experience and his knowledge of the cars, the race tracks and the series overall will be a big benefit to our team. Having that experience, along with the winning pedigree of Helio, Juan and Dane, provides a great platform as we launch the Acura Team Penske program next season. When you add Simon and Graham for the endurances races, I feel like we have a strong lineup for Daytona and Sebring.”

Said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development, ““We are really excited to have three more great drivers join the Acura Team Penske program and round out our lineup for next season. Ricky will be a great addition and putting him with Helio will make for a formidable duo to join the other team of Juan and Dane. Then, you add Simon and Graham, who have each driven for Acura in the past, we couldn’t be more excited about getting the ARX-05 ready to go for Daytona.”

Roger Penske added, “Adding a champion sports car driver in Ricky will help our team grow and develop. Ricky had a phenomenal season in 2017. He brings a great deal of sports car experience and his knowledge of the cars, the race tracks and the series overall will be a big benefit to our team. Having that experience, along with the winning pedigree of Helio, Juan and Dane, provides a great platform as we launch the Acura Team Penske program next season. When you add Simon and Graham for the endurances races, I feel like we have a strong lineup for Daytona and Sebring.”

Wayne Taylor Racing‏ tweeted, "Well, it's now official! Congrats @RickyTaylor_10 on your newest opportunity! @IMSA"

10/11/17

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