The 2023 British Endurance Championship (BEC) almost feels like a fairy-tale for Daryl DeLeon Taylor. After securing a scholarship with Team HARD Racing to race an Audi S3, he was quickly promoted to a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car and raced alongside Brad Thurston for the rest of the season. The pair then jumped from one class win to another, eventually securing the Overall Championship at the finale at Donington Park.
Heading into the weekend with a slim 2 point lead in the standings, everyone at Team HARD Racing knew that it was a make or break race for Brad and Daryl. They also had one eye locked on the rival #21 Mercedes-AMG GT4 as they had to finish ahead of it in order to take the title.
Practice began early on a Thursday morning with the team getting a good setup on the #28 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car. But as things started to look sorted ahead of the title decider, they suffered power steering issues on Friday that took until Saturday to sort out. This severely limited their track time with Daryl only getting 5 laps in during Free Practice, while Brad got none.
Despite the lack in seat time, it was a good effort for Brad to set the 3rd fastest time in class during Qualifying. Although it meant that they would start from the 6th row of the grid, at least they were way ahead of the Mercedes.
A strong downpour then drenched the 4.020 km GP circuit just 20 minutes before the race on Sunday forcing Brad to take the grid on wet weather tires. He had to deal with changing grip levels and tire wear as a dry line started to appear during his stint, doing so while maintaining a good position over the course of an hour.
Daryl later jumped in the car midway through the race as the team sent him back out on a damp track with slick tires. From then on, all the Filipino-British driver had to do was to bring the car home and the 2023 championship was theirs. But it was not as easy as it seemed. After only a few laps in, Daryl reported a vibration problem back to the pit wall. As it won’t be a quick fix and with the title on the line, he was asked to nurse the car all the way to the chequered flag.
For 50 long minutes, Daryl counted down every single second with hopes of making it to the finish. And at the end of 63 laps, the #28 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car finally made it across the line to take the Class C victory with Brad and Daryl concluding the year as 2023 British Endurance Champions.
Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “I was just counting down the minutes until the chequered flag dropped. In the end we were able to take the overall championship by 5 points. It was a really good race. Brad and I drove really well and just really happy with the results. I’d like to thank Brad, Team HARD Racing, and everyone for their support this season as it really goes a long way.”
Daryl DeLeon Taylor is supported by Auntie Anne’s and Train Maintenance Services (TMS).