THE RICKY AND JORDAN SHOW
Sports car racing’s wildest Italian, Max
“The Ax” Angelelli, has an alter ego.
As a driver, the Bologna native sliced and
diced his way to wins and championships
using asphalt, grass and the “chrome horn.”
It was exciting and effective. That’s “The Ax.”
Out of his helmet and race suit, the other
Angelelli has developed into “Il Professore.”
At 50, he’s at a place where summoning
the necessary rage to continue in the driver’s
seat has subsided. A walk-off win in January’s
Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Wayne Taylor
Racing team he co-owns, co-manages and
has groomed since its inception provided the
perfect reflection point for all he’s achieved.
Legacy, as it relates to drivers, isn’t
necessarily fixed upon retirement. With his
driving career closed, Angelelli’s greatest
works – in WTR and in developing Ricky and
Jordan Taylor – are still being written.
“He’s been coordinating the program
“THE AX” SIGNS OFF
between Cadillac, GM and (DPi-V.R chassis
manufacturer) Dallara, and he’s going to play
a big role in all of that going forward,” says
Wayne Taylor. “And Max has done a brilliant
job with my boys. For so many years, he was
like a teacher to them. It’s been invaluable.”
With the elder Taylor looking after the
business side of WTR, Angelelli’s imprint can
be found in the competitive mindset that
runs from the cockpit to the shop floor.
“The way he approaches his racing, how
methodical he is on the driving and
engineering side, means there’s still a lot to
learn from him,” says Jordan Taylor. “He
drilled that into Ricky and me; take every
little thing seriously and extract everything
possible out of every situation. He’s still
e-mailing us after a race like Daytona asking
us for more. He’s definitely still mentoring.”
As Il Professore Angelelli is focused on
twin themes: improving and applying.
“He’s always been pretty hard on
everybody,” Jordan confirms. “If he sees any
little thing wrong, he’ll point it out, always
striving for improvement, for perfection.
“From the driving side, we’ve learned a
lot. We saw that from Ricky’s pass for the
win at Daytona, like a shark smelling blood.
He saw the door open and he went for it.
Those are things that Max has put into our
heads for the past 10 years.”
A Rolex 24 at Daytona win completed Max Angelelli’s driving career, but he’s still an important part of WTR.
Out on a high... Max
“The Ax” Angelelli
the 2017 Rolex 24 at
Daytona in his last
race as a driver. The
Italian will still be
attack into his
continuing role with
Wayne Taylor Racing.
Max Angelelli won a Daytona Prototype
title with Wayne Taylor in 2005...
...then added another co-driven by
Wayne’s younger son, Jordan, in 2013.