Grand Am: Spirit of Daytona announce 2013 driver lineup
Spirit of Daytona Racing announced today their completed driver line-up for the 2013 Grand-Am series and Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Series regular Ricky Taylor will pair with Richard Westbrook in the popular Blue #90 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype for the entire 2013 Grand-Am series. Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin will return to the lineup for select endurance events, as well as January's opening round: The 24 Hours of Daytona.
Ricky Taylor has established himself as a rising star and has been a standout in the top-tier Daytona Prototype division of the Grand-Am series. In three seasons of Grand-Am competition Taylor has earned 10 poles and 7 wins driving for Wayne Taylor Racing. Taylor also finished second in the DP drivers' standing the past two years. Ricky will be leaving the familiar surroundings of Wayne Taylor Racing to join Troy Flis’s Spirit of Daytona Team. Like Ricky the SDR team is also on the rise and has just completed a very successful campaign in the 2012 season. The SDR team finished the season third in the Championship points standings and top Corvette DP.
After a successful pairing in 2012, Factory Corvette driver Oliver Gavin will again pair up with the Daytona based squad in the No. 90 Corvette DP for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Gavin competed alongside Garcia and Westbrook at the 50th Anniversary of the 24-hour event this past January and is looking forward to racing with Ricky Taylor. “I’m excited to be back with the SDR team for the Rolex 24,” Gavin said. “I’m also looking forward to spending time with Ricky Taylor on the same team.”
Antonio Garcia and Richard Westbrook are teammates with Gavin in the factory Corvette Racing program and are both looking forward to having “Olly” back with them in the SDR No. 90 Corvette DP. “Oliver Gavin is a very experienced driver that I look forward to working with," said Taylor. "The Rolex 24-hour event is such an important race for all of the teams that every advantage is important. Driving with Oliver, Antonio and Richard is an advantage.”
Mark Kent (Director of Racing for Chevrolet): “We look forward to seeing Ricky Taylor as a member of Spirit of Daytona Racing. Ricky is a very talented driver and pairing him with Richard Westbrook will create a powerful driver combination. They will definitely be strong contenders for the 2013 Grand Am Daytona Prototype Drivers Championship title.”
Troy Flis (Owner, Spirit of Daytona): “We are all looking forward to working with Ricky this season. His win at Lime Rock confirmed what we already knew regarding his abilities in the car” Flis continued “Ricky will join Richard Westbrook in the car full time and will be joined by Antonio Garcia at the Rolex 24 and the Six Hour at Watkins Glen. Olly is part of the Spirit of Daytona family as well. He has experience in the Corvette DP and with the team. I couldn’t be happier with our complete driver line-up and am really looking forward to carrying our momentum from 2012 into the 2013 season.”
Ricky Taylor: “After three great years with the SunTrust team, I have learned an incredible amount and am extremely thankful for the time that I had with the team. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to drive for Troy Flis and the Spirit of Daytona team as they have proven to be a top team and I anticipate some great results and learning a lot from all of the guys including Richard who I have watched race for many years.”
The Spirit of Daytona team will be testing together at the “Roar Before the 24” at Daytona International Speedway on January 4-6, 2013.