Turns out, the Wayne Taylor Racing team actually did go over the maximum time allowed for team member Jordan Taylor to drive in the last hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. IMSA announced today that they will move WTR to last place in the Prototype class results for the violation.

IMSA had this to say in their press release over the disqualification:

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Prototype team and drivers Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli have been reclassified as finishing last in the Prototype class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona due to a violation of drive-time rules. In the Rolex 24, the maximum drive time was no more than four hours in a six-hour period and no more than 14 hours total.

All Prototype teams and drivers finishing behind the No. 10 team will move up one position in the race standings. The No. 10 team and drivers will receive points for 16th place, last in class. The team also forfeits its third-place prize money, and was scored last in the final segment of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup standings.

Wayne Taylor Racing actually got let off easy for this violation. Rule 12.7 in the TUDOR United SportsCar regulations states that a driver may not be in the car for more than 4 of every 6 hours. 12.7.3 explains that no points will be awarded if they mess this up:

If a Driver exceeds the maximum drive-time, the finishing position for each Car the Driver is nominated in, regardless of declaration for championship points, is not considered in the order of the results for the purpose of awarding any finishing points or Point Fund / Prize Money and all other Cars are elevated in the finishing positions.

IMSA Race Director Beaux Barfield decided to ignore this rule because he felt it was too harsh. In a statement Barfield made to Sportscar365:

Looking at it, we haven’t actually had an overage in the maximum drive time, in the years I’ve been I’ve been involved. So there wasn’t a precedent and we looked at it and thought the penalty that we had established as a standard was out of line with the type of violation we’re dealing with, so we’ve adjusted it accordingly.

Others are alleging that IMSA is playing favorites in going easy on the team.

Granted, Petit 2012 would have been under the American Le Mans Series rules, but still, the rules are the rules, regardless of who breaks them. Adjusting them on the fly is a huge party foul.

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Barfield confirmed to Sportscar365 that there will be a revision of Rule 12.7 released before Sebring, lest this be a one-time leniency for Wayne Taylor Racing only.

Many fans who were paying close attention to the race saw this announcement on the violation coming with Jordan Taylor being in the number 10 car so often during the race. Some even did the math using IMSA’s live timing.

“Jordan got in a 7:51 and out at 10:26 (2:35). Then in again at 12:07 and out at 1:49 (1:42). That’s 4:17.” posted Eric Rood. Others calculated that Jordan was in the car for at least fifteen minutes over the time limit, even with the last-minute swap.

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According to Sportscar365, “IMSA Pit Notes data indicates Jordan Taylor logged 4 hours and 19 minutes in the car between two separate stints. That doesn’t include time time spent in the pits, which is not counted towards the rule.”

I still have to feel bad for the team even though they got let off easy because that’s the worst kind of mistake to make: one that you know how to avoid, but make anyway and feel like total guano afterwards for making such an obvious mistake.

Still, the rules are there for a reason. “Drive-time maximums are in place to ensure that drivers do not get fatigued and create safety concerns, as well as to prevent any one driver from making too large a contribution to its team’s result,” explained Beaux Barfield in IMSA’s statement on the violation.

Team owner Wayne Taylor had this to say of the flub in a statement released on the team’s Facebook page:

Obviously, we are disappointed that inadvertently having Jordan drive a few more minutes than permitted has resulted in the issuance of these penalties. We fully understand IMSA’s stance on this and will not challenge the penalties levied against us. We will move forward and continue to do our very best to succeed in our goal of winning this championship, which is one of the most difficult championships in all of motor racing. We look forward to the next round of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship at Sebring.

The Wayne Taylor Racing guys are taking it as professionally as they can, eating their humble pie and looking towards Sebring. After all, it’s still early in the season. Fellow miscreants Turner Motorsports were penalized at Daytona last year and still went on to win the GTD class title.

Sounds like a comeback is now part of the plan.

The number 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette Daytona Prototype of Mike Rockenfeller, Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook now moves up to third place in the Prototype class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Photo credit: Getty Images