Andretti-Wayne Taylor Racing Partnership: Some Thoughts

Yesterday’s announcement of the new partnership between Andretti Autosport and Wayne Taylor Racing is huge for both IMSA and Indycar. While in 2023 we might not see any big changes, the next two years have a lot potential for some big moves.

Le Mans?

My first thought was that the new group will head to Le Mans in 2024 or 2025. Taylor’s son Ricky has driven at le mans for other teams, but now Taylor has a chance to bring his own car to France. It would be great to see the Andretti name return to Le Mans.


The groups no have increased depth in engineering and crew personnel. I can see a possibility of trading people back and forth for the sports car and Indycar programs as necessary.

I’m not sure how much each program can learn from Acura/Honda that translates from Sports cars to Indycars,but with Indycar moving to a hybrid system in 2024, perhaps there are things Andretti can learn from a year with the GTP car.


Will Acura grant WTR/Andretti a second GTP car for 2024? If they do, will Meyer Shank still be an Acura program?

Ricky Taylor in Indycar?

The prospect of Ricky Taylor driving an Indycar really excites me. He is a talented driver. Driving for a team affiliated with Andretti gives him his best opportunity. I doubt if he would ever be a full time Indycar pilot, but I could see Taylor running a couple of road course races and possibly the Indianapolis 500.someday.

Indycar Exposure

I am not sure if there will be an increase in exposure for Indycar with this joint venture. Andretti joins Chip Ganassi, Mike Shank, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal as Indycar team owners who will have entries in the GTP class in IMSA. With both series on NBC/Peacock, maybe the network can work opn some cross promotion. Some driver crossover would help.

For 2023 I believe all the Andretti indycar drivers have endurance commitments with other teams in various classes. Colton Herta with Rahal, Kyle Kirkwood with Vasser./Sullivan, and Romain Grosjean with Lamborghini. Devlin DeFrancesco has an LMP2 ride I believe.

I am excited to see how this partnership evolves. I see a potentially big super team on the horizon.

Andretti Joins IMSA with Wayne Taylor Racing

Andretti Autosport added to their extensive racing portfolio by partnering with Wayne Taylor Racing in the IMSA Weather tech Championship. The multi year deal begins withthe Rolex 24 hour at Daytona when the GTP Acura debuts. I will have some thoughts on this partnership tiomorrow.

The release from Andretti this morning:

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 28, 2022) – Andretti Autosport and Wayne Taylor Racing announced a new, long-term partnership today that will see the championship-caliber teams combine resources to compete in IMSA’s top classes. Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 and its No. 93 Harrison Contracting Company Acura NSX Evo22 will make their official debut at the 2023 Roar Before the Rolex 24 and will be on the grid for the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA. The newly formed team will also compete in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series. 

During the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, day-to-day operations and leadership remain as they have currently operated with the long- term goal of moving the programs into Andretti Global’s recently announced 575,000-square-foot headquarters in Fishers, Indiana, due to be operational in 2025.

Wayne Taylor’s global motorsports enterprise boasts two IMSA driver championships (2013, 2017) and back-to-back IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Championships (2021, 2020), which have contributed to nine IMSA manufacturer championships for Acura, Pontiac, Corvette and Cadillac as well as multiple victories in sportscar racing’s most iconic events – the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA (a total of six Rolex 24 At Daytona titles, two as driver and four of the past six years as team owner), Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Wayne Taylor Racing claims eight Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Championship titles and a Lamborghini World Finals title. 

For 2023, Andretti will continue to operate in IMSA’s LMP3 category with Jarett Andretti. The five-time Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport competes in six additional racing championships worldwide, including the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, INDY NXT by Firestone, ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Extreme E, Australia’s Repco Supercars Championship and Mexico’s SuperCopa series. 

Michael Andretti, Chairman & CEO, Andretti Autosport: 

“This is an exciting time for us. We’re proud to be returning to the IMSA paddock in this way and the opportunity to be part of the launch of the GTP program alongside Wayne Taylor Racing and our friends at Honda Performance Development. Re-entering IMSA full time, and at this level, has been a goal of mine. I wanted it to be the right opportunity and at the right time – and we’ve found that. I’m looking forward to working closer with the team at WTR and meeting all the team’s strong supporters. I want to personally thank Wayne (Taylor) and Travis (Houge) for already being such great partners as we plan for a successful future.” 

Wayne Taylor, Team Owner, Wayne Taylor Racing: 

“It’s an honor to be partnering with a name like Andretti as we enter a new era of racing. I was approached by Michael a year ago and, as we all know, timing is everything, especially as our GTP and GTD programs continue to grow with Acura |HPD. Having worked with Michael on this for nearly a year, I’m very excited to see it come together. While our 2023 program won’t look much different, there is a lot that Andretti Autosport can offer to us as we continue to build and expand. I’m looking forward to working closer with Michael (Andretti), J-F (Thormann), Rob (Edwards) and the entire Andretti team.” 

Some Thoughts on the Rolex 24

Photo: Nigel Cook/News-Journal

It was an all star race and it lived up to tis billing. This was a very good 24 hour race. It seemed as if every class had battles going on, several for the entire race. 807 laps completed with 10 caution periods is a substatntial lap count.

Want to win the Rolex 24? Join Wayne Taylor Racing. Yesterday’s win was the team’s third straight and fourth in five years. Taylor switched from Cadillac to Acura, hired a new pair of drivers, and still won.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s return to IMSA fell seven minutes short. The Cadillac was strong the entire race and had little problem charging to the front after pit stops and a drive through penalty. A cut tire with seven minutes left derailed the whole race for the team. They finished fifth.

Spencer Pigot and Oliver Askew had to get a lot of satisfaction winning the LMP3 class. Both drivers lost their Indycar rides in 2020. I hope their victory enhances their opportunity for an Indianapolis 500 entry.

Disappointed for Rinus Veekay. The Dragonspeed entry dropped out of the race after just 53 laps. He didn’t even get in the car.

Zach Veach’s bid for a good showing did not go well. His GTD Lexus had a host of issues and finished 13th in class, 64 laps behind the class winner.

One of the best stories of the was the GTD winner.Winward Racing, is a new entry stepping up from the Michelin Pilot series . A tremendous effort to come into the class with the biggest car count and several long time teams and win.

It is sad to see the end of the GTLM class. The Rolex 24 probably marked the highest number of entries for the soon to be extinct group. The Corvettes are the only full time entries. Their 1-2 finish in the class is a hollow victory. This class usually is the most fun to watch at the Rolex with close racing in cars fans can identify with. I understand that economics probably forced the decision, but I will miss this group.

Indycar Drivers Have Mixed Results

Alexander rossi and Helio Castroneves drove for the winning Wayne Taylor Racing Acura. Castroneves follows his 2020 IMSA championship with his first win at the Rolex24.

Rossi and Castroneves become the 14th and 15th Indianapolis 500 winners to also win the Rolex24.

Other Indycar drivers results:

Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi DPi) 5th overall

Sebastien Bourdais (JDC Miller DPi) 7th in class

Simon Pagenaud, Jimmie Johnson (Action Express DPi) 2nd overall

Juan Pablo Monoya (Shank DPi) 4th overall

J. R. Hildebrand (Audi GTD) 15th in class

Colton Herta (BMW GTD) 6th in class

NBC Coverage- Meh

I hope race coverage on NBC doesn’t indicate the kind of coverage we can expect for Indycar this season. I thought it was not their best effort.

There were lots of interviews with Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott. To be fair, Indycar drivers were interviewed as well, but Johnson and Elliott got more screen time than all the Indycar drivers combined. I respect what Jimmie Johnson is doing after a successful NASCAR career, taking a huge leap to Indycar and sports cars, but the coverage of him was excessive. Even after the race, he was the only runner-up driver who got an interview.

I felt the extensive focus on him slighted the full time drivers in the series, who work hard for probably little reward.

I understand that the prototypes are the big stars, but a little more time could have been spent covering the other classes. There was a great story with the winners of GTD which got only passing mentions.