Taylor: The deal came together pretty quickly

Jordan Taylor has come to Le Mans with something completely different, compared to his previous times. He will be driving in a Ferrari in the LMGT3 category, sharing the car with Johnny and Conrad Laursen, in what effect in the Spirit of Race entry being taken over by Formula Racing in every since but the team name on the entry list.

We caught up with him during the scrutineering in the town center, earlier today.

So it’s a bit unusual color to see you in.

“Yeah, I’ve obviously been against the Ferraris for many years here, but it’s always been one of our top competitors, so it’s nice to be on the other side, and see how they work, and how they operate, and what the car is like. I did a one-day test with the team at Paul Ricard, and got to know the car and the team and everything. It’s been great preparation coming in here this week, and I think we got a great shot at competing for the win.”

How did the deal with Formula Racing come about?

“Originally it came through Marco Sørensen, who knew Johnny and Conrad (Laursen, editor), and there was a seat available because Nicklas (Nielsen, editor) is obviously driving the Hypercar. Marco reached out to see if I was available, and I had to check with my team in America. I thankfully got all the approvals – spoke with Johnny and everyone – and the deal came together pretty quickly. The biggest thing was just to get to Paul Ricard for that test – it was only a few days before our Laguna Seca race in IMSA, so thankfully we were able to get that done, and get to know everybody and the car – get to work for this week.”

What are your first impressions of the car? It’s been a while since you last drove a GT3 car.

“I mean – IMSA last year, in the Corvette.”

But that was not really…

“Not a proper GT3 car. It’s obviously much different from what I drove in the past. The 296 is extremely good – it’s had a lot of success in the past, winning Nürburgring last year, and having a successful run in the IMSA races in America. It’s very nimble, it’s very user-friendly. The driveability is very nice. There are a lot of different systems that you can control in the car, in the cockpit, and on the steering wheel. When you look at GT racing, it has evolved a lot over the years. When I got the driver manual for this thing, it was over 40 pages that you have to learn, with all the systems. It is impressive, and they have done a good job of making it user-friendly for the driver. You kind of get in, and understand what you need to use, how to use it, and how to be quick. So yeah, I think that one-day test I did at Paul Ricard was good for learning all the systems, and the car, and getting up to speed.”

Jordan Taylor
Photo: JJ Media

Coming here pretty relaxed – the pressure is kinda off? Are you enjoying it more than you usually would with a factory drive?

“Yes and no. When you come with a full factory Pro effort, you obviously have all the drivers knowing what they are doing, to get their job done. When you come into a Pro-Am effort, you obviously have to support the other guys more. It’s Conrad’s first time here – he is only 18 – Johnny hasn’t been here in 8 years. So from my side, just kind offer more information than I usually would on a normal weekend. I put together some emails about traffic preparations, about work, about Hypercars and LMP2, and where they want to pass you, where to defend, and where to be careful. what curbs to use and not to use – all the things you wouldn’t do on a Pro weekend – on a full Pro effort. That side for me is interesting and it’s fun, and it’s a much different aspect to the race, than I’m used to.

Do you enjoy like that, almost mentoring?

“When I first came here, I think I was 21 with Corvette Racing, and my teammates were Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. I felt like an Am, when I came to that programme, and I’ll never forget them helping me on that weekend, and the years after that, even. So seeing Conrad coming here – it’s his first time – coming to scrutineering, the first time at the parade on Friday, and obviously the first time driving the event. So I know it’s a big, daunting undertaking, coming into it. So I’m just trying to make it as easy as possible.”

Formula Racing Ferrari #155
Photo: JJ Media

Have you known the Laursen’s for a long time?

“No about one month *laughing*”

So you had never met them before testing with them?

“No, Marco knows Conrad, and they are obviously all Danish – I’m not sure how big the country is, if everybody knows each other *big laugh* – but they know Jan Magnussen as well, whom I drove together with for many years as well. And kinda when I met them – every Dane that I’ve ever met is so nice – they were very welcoming, when I joined the team, and arms open. So I’m hoping to come in and help just as much as I can – obviously, when you bring in a Pro driver, you are expected to do the best job possible. So I’m hopefully going to do a good job in the car, but outside I’m going to help them as much as possible as well.”

The first laps for Jordan Taylor onboard the almost chocolate-colored Ferrari 296 LMGT3 #155 will be tomorrow morning, when the test sessions are on.

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