This weekend, Taylor is participating in an event he has only dreamed about attending – the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Ricky Taylor's having quite a year for his bucket list.
Three weeks ago, he competed for the first time in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That's a race he's aspired to do since his childhood, when his father annually raced in the French endurance classic.
This weekend, Taylor is participating in an event he has only dreamed about attending – the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England.
Taylor will not be attending the festival as a fan. Instead, he will be driving the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP – a replica of the car he races in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series – in the prestigious Goodwood Hillclimb – taking his place alongside some of the legends of motorsports.
"I've heard so much about Goodwood, and I've watched it on television and seen all the great cars and drivers – all the history," Taylor said. "I can't wait to experience it firsthand."
The Spirit of Daytona DP is also carrying United SportsCar Racing and IMSA identification in anticipation of the highly anticipated unification of America's leading sports car racing organizations, GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Six months from its debut at the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona, United SportsCar Racing is already getting recognition on the international level through participation at both Le Mans and the Goodwood Festival.
The first Festival of Speed was held in 1993 on the picturesque parklands surrounding the Goodwood House, the estate of the Lord of March. The annual event brings together historic, current and prototype vehicles. Some of them – including the Bluebird V that set speed records on the sands of Daytona Beach while driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell – are on display in a pristine setting. Other events include a rally and air show. Highlighting the event is the Hillclimb, an event that includes racing legends Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Brian Redman, Vic Elford and Emerson Fittipaldi racing along with current Formula One drivers Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – and Ricky Taylor.
Taylor will share the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP with Nick Woodman, GoPro founder and chief executive officer, and Rolex Series team sponsor and former driver Sonny Whelen. Who gets the first chance up the hill in the car?
"Ricky will get the first turn," owner Troy Flis said. "We want to make sure everything's all right with the car."
Taylor has a personal goal for his trip up the 1.16-mile hill on a course that includes twisty turns and brick walls lining both sides of portions of the course.
"Troy has the track record in a DP," Taylor said. "I'd like to beat his record."
While the DP is painted up in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com paint scheme that the team races in the Rolex Series, this car will be making history of its own in the near future. Following Goodwood, the car will be turned over to Marsh Racing, a team sponsored by Whelen that will be making the move from GT to the DP ranks for 2013.
The car will be maintained jointly by Spirit of Daytona and Marsh Racing, and will begin testing in the near future at the hands of team drivers Eric Curran and Boris Said.