Barrichello added to Wayne Taylor Racing lineup at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Wayne Taylor Racing added Rubens Barrichello to its lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Friday because star driver Jordan Taylor has not been feeling well.
Taylor said he has been battling a pair of infections for the last two weeks and is not confident he will be 100 percent for the twice-round-the-clock endurance race that begins Saturday.
Team doctors have cleared Taylor to race, so adding Barrichello to a regular lineup that includes Taylor, older brother, Ricky, and Max Angelelli was a precautionary move.
“I wasn’t feeling well two weeks ago, and with such a big race, with three drivers, it’s kind of risky if one of us goes out,” Taylor said. “You’ve only got two drivers to do 24 hours and these days you are flat-out the whole race, it really wears on you. If I don’t get better, it could be a disaster, so we planned ahead.”
Taylor did not disclose his illness.
“I had two infections and I’ve been in and out of places for two weeks now,” he said. “One infection I take an antibiotic, one infection they said just takes time. They said it can take anywhere from one week to six months to cure. I feel OK. There are times I feel fine, and there are times I don’t feel so great.”
Barrichello had contacted team owner Wayne Taylor a month ago to see if the team could use him. They passed, then called Barrichello this week to see if he was still available.
Barrichello was wrapping up a three-week vacation in the U.S. when he got the call. He and his family were headed to New York for the final leg of the vacation when he instead headed to Daytona Beach. They return to Brazil on Sunday after the race.
“I was going to the airport already, so I said, ‘Give me 15 minutes because I’ve got to talk to the wife,’” Barrichello said. “We had two weeks in Homestead with the kids basically racing and myself as well, and so the final week of vacation was for mom. So when I got the call, I said, ‘I cannot call her and just tell her, I’ve got to look her in the eye and see if it’s OK.’ And it was OK. She’s the best. She understood.”
It will be the third appearance in the Rolex for the former Formula One star. He drove last year for Starworks Motorsport and currently races stock cars in Brazil.
“About a month ago I searched for some possibilities for a competitive car, and I talked to Wayne,” he said. “I think that this is the best that could happen. It could have been better if I had tested the car a little more because right now I have 40 minutes in the car before I move into the 24 hours. But I’m OK, I’m happy. It’s a competitive car, a good trio.”