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Michael Andretti, who is trying to gain entry for his race team into Formula 1, also has designs on the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans.
It remains to be seen if any WEC and Le Mans effort would be with Cadillac, which is returning to Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Andretti said he doesn’t think the IMSA partnership with Wayne Taylor Racing will weaken his current efforts in IndyCar and Formula E, saying that it’s a matter of not having same people do all the different series.
The immediate goal for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport is to add a second Acura ARX-06 for next season’s WeatherTech Championship campaign.
Longer term, the team has its eye on Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship.
“Our goal is to be in every major racing event in the world and Le Mans is one of the big ones, so down the road we definitely want to be there,” said Michael Andretti in a media conference prior to WeatherTech Championship qualifying for the Rolex 24.
Andretti said he’s looking to expand his current satellite operation in Europe “in the next few years” to include a WEC program and Le Mans.
Le Mans “is the one sports car race in the world that we haven’t won overall,” said Wayne Taylor, “so it’s a major focus for us here. That’s where we want to be.”
It remains to be seen if a WEC and Le Mans effort would be with Cadillac, which is returning to Le Mans this year under the convergence of LMDh regulations in a two-car effort with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Andretti has announced intentions of going Formula 1 racing with the GM brand, possibly as early as 2026. A source close to GM’s racing operations confirmed it would be no surprise if Taylor was keen on returning to Le Mans with Cadillac. Taylor was part of Cadillac’s effort at Le Mans in 2000 to 2002.
The Honda Motor Company, parent to the Acura brand, has not approved of any major sports car effort beyond its American-based entries of Taylor/Andretti and Meyer Shank Racing in the WeatherTech series. It has agreed to additional ARX-06 being supplied by Honda Peformance Development. The Japanese company last raced in the World Endurance Championship in 2013.
Taylor said he recognized during the December test at Daytona for GTP entrants that his Acura team was short of manpower compared to the combined IndyCar/IMSA teams behind the BMW, Cadillac and Porsche entries. “I was walking up and down the pit lane and we had 91 people around the car. I thought, ‘What the heck am I going to do here?’” That led to a phone call to Andretti, who currently employs 157 according to a team spokesman.
Andretti said he doesn’t think the partnership with Taylor will weaken his current efforts in IndyCar and Formula E, saying that it’s a matter of not having same people do all the different series.
“If you have the right people in the right position, it should only help the overall effort,” said Andretti. “I think there are a lot of things they do that I’m going to look at for our IndyCar and Formula E program. I feel it strengthens us and what we are trying to do.”
Taylor, who will have 90,000 square feet available in Andretti Autosport’s new facility in Fishers, Ind., sees the partnership as long term.
“There’s going to be a lot of cross over between drivers, engineers, technology,” Taylor said.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 qualified third on Sunday for next weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona.