Michael Andretti will expand his motorsport presence to the highest level of sports car racing, partnering with team owner Wayne Taylor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Andretti Autosport and Wayne Taylor Racing announced a long-term partnership Wednesday morning, as the teams race at Rolex starting January 24 at Daytona 28-29, 2023. The deal has been in development for several months.
Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport fielded No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 in the rebranding of the top GTP category that will have new LMDh prototypes.
Day-to-day operations and leadership of Wayne Taylor Racing will remain unchanged, but the long-term goal is to move the program to Brownsburg, Indiana-based in Andretti Global’s 525,000 square foot headquarters which recently broke ground on 90 acres in Indiana Fishers.
The massive shop, which is due to open in 2025, is set to be the worldwide home for the Andretti racing organization, which currently runs cars in IndyCar, Formula E, Indy NXT, Extreme E, the Australian Repco Supercars Championship and the Mexican SuperCopa series.
Michael Andretti, whose teams have won five Indy 500s and multiple IndyCar titles, is also bidding to bring a new team to Formula One next year, and Andretti Autosport was already racing in the IMSA series in LMP3 before 2021. winning the pole last year in the Rolex 24 debut.
That No. 36 entry, co-driven by Jarett Andretti, will also continue in 2023 and as power levels have been seen toward the top prototype of the division by Andretti, who spoke openly about his career ambitions through a myriad series. Last year, Andretti told reporters about his F1 dream “we always wanted to reach the top. This is the pinnacle of auto-racing. For us, there are other series that I want to enter as well, and to be in all the top races and series in the world, that it is the purpose and goal of my partner.
In a release Wednesday about the new deal with Taylor, Andretti said, “This is an exciting time for us. We are proud to return to the IMSA team and have the opportunity to go to the launch of the GTP program alongside Wayne Taylor Racing and our friends at Honda Performance Development.
“It was my goal to enter IMSA full time again, and at this level. I wanted it to be convenient and convenient, and we found it. I look forward to working with the WTR team and meeting all the strong supporters of the team. I want to personally thank Wayne (Taylor) and (WTR vice president) Travis (Houge) for already being such great partners as we look forward to a successful future.”
Wayne Taylor Racing is among the most successful teams in IMSA with four Rolex 24 victories in the past six years. The team won the 2017 DPi championship and finished second the past three seasons. WTR also has many victories in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
“It’s an honor to partner with the Andretti name as we enter a new era in racing,” Wayne Taylor, who also won the Rolex 24 twice as a driver, said in a release. “I joined Michael a year ago and, as we all know, everything is in sync, especially as our GTP and GTD programs continue to grow with Acura HPD.
“I’ve been working with Michael for almost a year now, I’m very excited to get it together. While our 2023 program is not much different, there is a lot that Andretti Autosport can offer us as we continue to build and expand. I look forward to working closely with Michael (Andretti), JF (Thormann), Rob (Edwards) and the entire Andretti team.
Andretti will also partner with WTR in a new foray into the GTD division with the No. The 93 Harrison Contracting Acura NSX Evo22 Team that will make its Michelin Endurance Cup debut next month at Daytona International Underwater. The team will also compete in the North American Lamborghini Super Trofeo series.