Taylor sad Garcia missed Daytona celebrations after positive COVID test

Jordan Taylor says a Daytona 24 Hours class victory was made bittersweet after his team-mate Antonio Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 and had to leave the event early

Taylor sad Garcia missed Daytona celebrations after positive COVID test

Taylor, Garcia and endurance driver Nicky Catsburg led home a Corvette Racing 1-2 in the GT Le Mans class to claim the C8.R's first endurance victory in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

However, Garcia, who won last year's GTLM championship with Taylor, was unable to celebrate the result with the team after learning that his Covid-19 test had come back positive.

"It was bittersweet to end the day like we did with Antonio having to leave the track," said Taylor, who switched from his father's Wayne Taylor Racing squad to replace Jan Magnussen at Corvette Racing just last year.

"I was super upset and disappointed for him when I got out of the car after what I thought was my last stint and was told he couldn't get back in the car.

"He lives for these events, especially this one. He really wanted to finish this race to capitalise on when they finished second in 2016 to kind of make up for that. So I felt bad for him in that respect.

"But he should be unbelievably proud of this whole team.

"He is the leader of this #3 car. He's the one that drives the setup of it which is why we were so quick at the end of the race.

"He's taught me so much as a driver - understanding the tyres, how to do drive the car and understanding this new GT world that I'm in.


"If it wasn't for Antonio, there's no way I would have driven that last stint the way I did.

"Huge thanks to him. I know I'll see him in a couple weeks when he can come back into the country and we can hang out and celebrate in person.

"I'm so honoured and happy to be a part of this with him. We've never won an endurance race as teammates so this is the first one and very special."

Taylor took over from Catsburg for the final stints and had to work his way past the sister car driven by Corvette stalwart Tommy Milner.

Although he had already twice won the race overall with WTR, Taylor pointed out that on neither occasion was he the driver behind the wheel at the checkered flag.

"I think that part of it was definitely daunting and intimidating," he commented.

"I was extremely nervous in the hour leading up to my last stint, just knowing what was at stake and how big of a deal this race is for Corvette Racing and to Chevrolet. To have everyone here and seeing the history of the team at this event.

"I had an amazing battle with Tommy, super respectful. I thought it was a great race. I'm just so happy.

"It's my first class win at Daytona and third Rolex. So unbelievable and I never could have dreamed it any better to be honest."

Meanwhile, Garcia described Sunday as "both one of the best days of my career but also one of the most frustrating and disappointing".

He went on: "I did have COVID in late December with some symptoms. I isolated until I fully recovered, and followed all Spanish and CDC protocols to be cleared for traveling.

"It's frustrating but there are protocols that are in place for this.

"It's painful not to be able to celebrate with Jordan, Nicky and the rest of the team.

"We worked so hard over the past months and weeks to achieve an endurance win like the Daytona 24.

"We didn't make mistakes, we had good pace with the Corvette.

"After winning the championship a year ago, this was the type or result we all wanted for the start of a new season.

"Ever since we started at Daytona with this new car, we knew it would be fast and competitive.

"Obviously, the preparation we had last year wasn't enough to win this race. But after the lockdown, that gave us an opportunity to develop the C8.R and we went on to win six races as a team and the championship.

"Last year, we didn't manage to win a long race so it was still in our minds to get this, and now we've started with a big one like the Daytona 24 Hours.

"We proved today that Corvette Racing was the strongest team. I have to say this was a flashback to the 2016 race [when the #3 finished right behind the #4 of Milner and Oliver Gavin].

"It was pretty nerve-wracking when it looked like it could happen again but I'm glad we came out on top this time."

shares
comments
Van der Zande reflects on agonising Daytona 24 Hours loss

Previous article

Van der Zande reflects on agonising Daytona 24 Hours loss

Next article

Mazda rear wing issue cost it victory shot at Daytona 24 Hours

Mazda rear wing issue cost it victory shot at Daytona 24 Hours
Load comments

About this article

Series IMSA
Drivers Ricky Taylor , Jordan Taylor , Antonio Garcia
Author David Malsher
Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending Plus

Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending

Mazda believes it has never had a better chance of clinching the title in IMSA's Prototype division. Achieving this goal would be the bittersweet culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit

IMSA
Apr 11, 2021
The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault Plus

The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault

After taking over Corvette Racing from long-time custodian Doug Fehan, 34-year-old Laura Wontrop Klauser is leading General Motors through a transitional phase in sportscar racing. Here’s how she got into her dream role and what she plans to do with it

IMSA
Mar 21, 2021
Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours Plus

Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Plus

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitter Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Plus

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories

IMSA
Jan 28, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Plus

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Autosport to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
When Porsche became a giant-killer Plus

When Porsche became a giant-killer

In the first of a new series celebrating underdog achievements from the annals of motorsport history, we revisit the 2015 Petit Le Mans - where a tyre advantage in appallingly wet conditions helped the GT cars overcome the prototypes

IMSA
Apr 15, 2020
Why one car was "too fast for everyone" at Daytona Plus

Why one car was "too fast for everyone" at Daytona

Cadillac's 100% streak of Daytona 24 Hours DPi-based victories was extended last weekend, with the Wayne Taylor Racing squad triumphant. But the manner of that victory was the real story of the first major sportscar race of 2020

IMSA
Jan 27, 2020