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Taylor Racing

“We’re one of the most unregulated forms of motorsport in the world - in fact, the only regulations have to do with engine capacity and safety!” begins Michael Taylor of Race Wheels Australia and Crew Chief of Team Taylor Racing, talking about his family’s bold off-road racing program that saw Ryan Taylor and co-driver Kye Floyd fly home to a Championship-seizing victory at the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race, narrowly edging out fellow Method Race Wheels and Toyo Tires stablemates, Swinglehurst Motorsports.

“We’ve been racing as a family since the late-70s. We’ve all got fond memories of growing up around race tracks, and to this day we race alongside some second generation racing families like ourselves, but this is the first year we managed to bring home an AORC Outright Win,” beams team wheelman, Ryan Taylor.

Taylor Racing

For over forty years, the Taylor family has been developing their off-road racing program, refining their vehicle to improve overall performance as well as reliability. “Everyone else in the class is standing pretty tall now, so we’re running more boost than our engine builder would like to see!” laughs Michael Taylor of the highly-strung twin turbocharged Cadillac V6 engine, which can produce in excess of 1,000 horsepower.

As well as an Albins transaxle transmission and intricate and highly-adjustable Kings suspension to handle 200+km/h blasts around the off-road racing tracks, the Taylor’s buggy rolls on beadlocked MR103 Method Race Wheels, wrapped in Toyo Open Country M/T-R speciality racing tyres.

Taylor Racing

“As far as the construction of the tyres goes, the Open Country M/T-R that we race on is incredibly similar to the Open Country M/T tyre available off-the-shelf at your local Toyo Dealer,” explains Michael. “In fact, one of the only differences is that the Open Country M/T-R doesn’t have the sipes in the tyre, but much like the MR103 Method Race Wheels we compete on, a lot of the technology in the wheels and tyres available to the consumer is generated in high-pressure environments like our off-road racing program,” explains Michael.

“One of the biggest changes this year has been appointing a full-time mechanic to the car, Wayne, better known as ‘Foz’. He allows us to turn up on race day and focus on racing, not turning spanners on the car which has been a big shift, and the reliability of the car this season helped make us super competitive. We started the season in a really well-prepared car which allowed us to make improvements and refinements each race, rather than spending time on mechanical repairs,” adds Ryan.

Setting the pace for a winning season doesn’t happen by accident, and Michael admits that preparation has been key. “Our engine builder will cast an eye over the engine to make sure it’s happy and the transaxle will come out a few times a season to be freshened up, and we run a pretty strict tyre management regime as well. With how competitive the field is now, it’s not uncommon for us to throw a new set of drive tyres on the car every qualifying session just to make sure we’re maximising our grip, stop and steer capabilities,” he says, speaking to the lengths the team have gone to all season to stay competitive.

Team Taylor shot out of the gates in the first race of the season and after the first two rounds, had secured two podium finishes and were leading the championship heading into Finke. The notoriously-challenging desert round tested the team who battled through breakages, and still managed to cross the line to secure some championship points.

Taylor Racing

“The whole Championship came down to the last lap of the last race!” laughs Ryan. “It was between Jake [Swinglehurst] and I, but if anything had happened to either of us, the Championship was so tight that there were three or four people behind us also in with a shot,” he continues.

“The final race was a 121km loop. Around 90km in the call came over the radio that Jake had suffered an engine failure. All we needed to do was bring the car home in one piece and we’d win it.”

“As I crossed the line, the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. It was such an emotional moment, and meant so much to my whole family. There were smiles and cheers and hugs, and phone calls to those that couldn’t be there with us on the day,” says Ryan in closing, reliving a day that Team Taylor Racing won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Toyo Tyres Australia congratulates Team Taylor Racing and all those competing on Toyo Tires products for their success in the 2022 AORC Championship.

Taylor Racing