We had a quick chat with Joseph Taylor, a young Brit who signed an agreement with Manor Racing for a future as LMP pro-driver.
Joseph’s career started in 2013 with IAME powerplants. After a few years of races and training, also in the United States, Joseph won the Formula Kart Stars in 2015 in the Cadet class. It was his turning point, the following year he acame second in the Super One Series, always in the IAME Cadet class, and second in the SKUSA! SuperNats XX in the Mini Swift class.
2017 is a new start for himnot only because of his moving to CIK-FIA events within the Academy Trophy, but also because of his contract with the Manor Official Driver Programme. Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director of Manor, explained that the Manor Official Driver Programme is a new way to guide young, skilled drivers through a difficult business, providing them with a route map to be able to understand and cope in a tough environment better. In 2017 Joseph will be receiving guidance and assistance on developing his driving career and gain access to the Manor team and the environment at some endurance races. “A big part of the Manor program is spotting talent at an early age, that is something we think is really important. Motor sport is such a difficult business“ he said.
Lowdon, who worked in F1 for six years, added: “We have chosen Joseph to join the Manor Official Driver Programme because it’s clear he can drive, you can see that from his karting results. What’s more impressive is how Joseph applies himself to the task. Manor has worked with some exceptional drivers over the years and there are certain qualities that all these drivers have in common and Joseph has many of those qualities.“
First year in CIK-FIA competitions and you already signed a very important contract: how do you feel being part of such an important project?
"I feel very privileged to be the first driver selected for the Manor Official Driver Programme. It’s a huge step forward for me because it could be the start of a successful career, I want to grasp it and make the most of it. Being chosen by a team with such an impressive history gives me confidence that I can be successful."
How did they contact you for the first time?
"Manor approached me through my principal sponsor, Laurance Laybourne, who has been involved in motorsport for many years. Laurance has been supporting my racing for a few years now, his help has been very important in making sure I can continue to improve my racing skills."
In the last years a lot of manufacturers created drivers programmes outside F.1: what do you think of this trend? It’s better to risk to be a F.1 driver or maybe it’s better to remain in GT or LMP as a Pro?
"I want to be competing at the top level and be the best I can be. Being part of a team that has worked with some of the best drivers in the world will help me achieve this and I will be able to learn more about being a successful racing driver. I think it’s great that racing teams in other championships, not just F1, are looking at young kart racers, as obviously there are a lot more opportunities available in GT and LMP."