Interview Date: February 2022.
Jordan Taylor, driver with Corvette Racing team manning the No. 3 C8.R GTD PRO, has quickly become a favorite in the sport. Taylor’s skill on the track is admired not only by longtime Corvette Racing fans, but also by a slew of newer motorsports enthusiasts just getting involved in the sport. Jordan’s newer fans, however, may be surprised when they discover there are two quite different sides to his persona.
On the one hand, Taylor is an accomplished and respected racer, taking his primary role with Corvette Racing very seriously. He joined the team as a third driver a decade ago, racing at events including Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans. Since then, his role has expanded exponentially, and Taylor joined the Corvette Racing team fulltime in 2020. On the flip side, and what some of his fans may not know, is that Taylor also portrays a more lighthearted, humorous alter ego version of himself which he channels with his ever-growing fanbase by way of his social media channels.
Jordan Taylor grew up in the world of sports cars and motorsports as the youngest son of Wayne Taylor, an outstanding veteran racer in his own right. Taylor’s older brother, Ricky, has immersed himself in the racing world as well. Growing up surrounded by all things motorsports, it played a crucial role as Taylor progressed toward his adult life. Speaking on his childhood Jordan shared, “Instead of going to the baseball or football field on the weekends with my dad and brother like most kids, we went to the track because it was something we all wanted to do.” At the age of 10-years old Taylor started go-karting, and, over time, his father taught him what it takes to make it in the sport. By learning the ins and outs at an early age, Taylor easily adapted to his eventual professional life behind the wheel.
When Taylor is not on track racing in an event, he is prepping and making adjustments with his team via training and testing. Over the past 10 years, one development in the racing industry has been the advancement of professional motorsport racing simulators. According to Taylor, “Drivers work with the simulator a couple times of year, usually before or after big races to do any prep work or to correlate with what they might be working on. With such a large professional team, drivers are only needed during the times around race weekends.”
On race weekends, Taylor shared he typically watches the past couple of years races at the venue to notice how they unfolded, what mistakes may have been made, and what could be learned from them to avoid repeat errors. He mentioned, “It isn’t just about the mistakes Corvette Racing made, but mistakes from other teams as well, so they are not repeated by us.” Like an NFL star preparing for a big game, Taylor also tries to learn something from others involved in the sport adding, “With so many different views, you see a variety of strategies and driving styles, which is a way to never stop learning. The more you watch, and the more you research, the better driver you can be.”
When in the driver’s seat, Jordan’s main objective is to minimize distractions, so he can remain focused on the task at hand. Goals vary as well depending on whether it is a practice session, qualifier, or an actual race. When in a practice session, Taylor must process what is going on with the car in terms of handling; he can then report back to the team’s engineers to make proper alterations for improved performance. When attempting to qualify, all focus is on hitting the marks, brake points, and apexes, processing each as quickly as possible. The race itself is like qualifying, but Taylor must be actively listening to the team to precisely determine what part of the race he is in at any given moment. With that in mind, he is able to determine whether to attack at that point, focus on saving fuel, or take it easy for a moment.
Taylor says of his earliest days of racing, “I just loved being in the car, particularly when it was a test day with one car and no one else to race or compare ourselves to.” Taylor added, “I love the challenge of driving and extracting the most possible out of the car on any given day. Each day and time on the track are different. There are different variables and situations that arise, and for me it’s about adapting to those situations.”
Jim Campbell, Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports with General Motors, shared, “Jordan Taylor brings incredible talent to the team that complements the other drivers and team members. In 2015 he was a member of the team that delivered our eighth win at Le Mans. He is smart behind the wheel, but he also connects with fans from all over the world with his creative mind and sense of humor through the content and messaging he shares on social media. It is another dimension of this incredibly talented racecar driver that enables him to connect to Corvette owners and race fans in a very unique and compelling way. We are so proud to have Jordan Taylor on the team along with our other amazing drivers.”
The serious, business-minded side of Jordan Taylor has allowed him to finish first multiple times, including 2021’s Weathertech Championship GTLM points with wins at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, Watkins Glen, and Lime Rock Park.