East London-born Wayne Taylor, who won the 1986 South African Formula 2 championship, before leaving SA in 1989 to seek fame and fortune racing internationally, was recently inducted into the South African Hall of Fame at Sun City.
He joins Sarel van der Merwe, brothers Jody and Ian Scheckter and Ferrari designer Rory Byrne as the only motorsport inductees.
Taylor may be slight of stature, but he is obviously very strong in terms of vision and determination. He has certainly succeeded in the world of motorsport in the United States and is now, arguably, the most successful South African-born racing driver in history if one excludes 1979 Formula 1 champion Jody Scheckter, who also came from East London.
Not only has Taylor notched up world titles and won many major sports car races globally, as well as competing 13 times in the Le Mans 24-hour race (best overall placing was fourth in 1987, sharing a Porsche 962 with SA’s George Fouche and Franz Konrad, of Austria), but he is now, also, a very successful team owner in American sports car racing.
A host of video snippets from motor sport luminaries wishing Taylor well on his achievement of being inducted into the prestigious SA Hall of Fame was aired at the event. Among those wishing him well were Fernando Alonso (who shared the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPI which won the recent 24-hour race at Daytona), Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi, Mark Reuss (President of General Motors with whom Wayne has been involved for almost three decades), as well as multiple NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, who has also driven for Wayne Taylor Racing.
2019 started in dramatic fashion for the inductee, with Wayne Taylor Racing winning its second Rolex Daytona 24-hour race. Fernando Alonso, former two-time F1 world champion, was one of the team's drivers, together with Wayne’s son, Jordan, Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande. The team is looking forward to further success in the season(s) ahead.