#10: Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, podium

Emotional Win in Detroit Goes to Taylor, Albuquerque and No. 10 WTRAndretti Acura

Pole-Winning No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Finishes Second

 

By John Oreovicz

 

Race Results

 

DETROIT – The drought ended in Detroit.

 

Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 found their way to Victory Lane for the first time in 15 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races, a streak dating to August 2022.

 

WTRAndretti was victorious earlier this year with its new-for-2024 IMSA Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class No. 40 entry at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac. But the organization’s flagship No. 10 team had endured almost 22 winless months despite leading the GTP class standings into the 2023 WeatherTech Championship finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

 

Saturday at Detroit, it appeared not even a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility on the tight, 1.645-mile street course could deny victory to the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 driven Friday to the Motul Pole Award by Nick Tandy. But Taylor drafted Tandy’s co-driver Mathieu Jaminet down the long Jefferson Avenue straight, and he executed a clean pass into the Turn 3 hairpin with 25 minutes remaining in the 100-minute sprint race.

 

Taylor held on through two additional restarts after short late-race cautions and the No. 10 Acura prevailed by 1.132 seconds after 75 laps of rough-and-tumble street course racing. The No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R shared by Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande claimed third place, followed by the outside front row starting No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche and drivers Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron.

 

“It means so much,” reflected Taylor, a two-time champion in IMSA prototypes who earned his 32nd career victory Saturday. “With how important track position is here, we didn’t think we had a chance really. But Filipe had an amazing start. We ran one set of Michelin tires for the entire race. The one pit stop, the guys nailed it. The driver change was flawless. I’m just so happy and proud for the team. Just super excited.”

 

Albuquerque qualified the No. 10 Acura in fourth place, but he immediately moved up to second with a deft move into Turn 1. He kept leader Tandy in sight until Tandy spun out a Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class car less than half an hour into the race, incurring a drive through penalty that dropped the No. 6 Porsche to sixth place.

 

Smart strategy and a well-timed pit stop for the driver change from Tandy to Jaminet elevated the No. 6 Porsche back into the lead. But Jaminet got bogged in GTD PRO class traffic, allowing Taylor’s Acura to get a run that the Porsche driver could not defend.

 

Jaminet was upset with himself for losing the lead – and in his mind, the race.

 

“Everything was OK, but I basically struggled to generate temperature in the front tires,” he said. “I thought everything was under control, but I caught traffic in the wrong spot and that gave him a shot. He did a good move. Congrats to them, but from my side, I’m definitely not happy. That was not one of my best drives today.”

 

Albuquerque’s emotions after the race stood in stark contrast. The weight on not winning clearly wore heavily on him and Taylor.

 

“It’s almost like when you are struggling in a family when something goes wrong,” he said. “You just get more united and try to motivate each other. You never lose that faith and stick even more together, knowing the tables will turn and it’s just around the corner. I think this moment just made our No. 10 Konica Minolta team stronger. Today I nearly cried.”

 

The No. 7 Porsche team retained the lead in the GTP class standings, with a 70-point advantage over the No. 01 Cadillac. Next up is the No. 6 Porsche, followed by the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac which dropped from second to fourth after a sixth-place finish at Detroit.

 

The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship (and the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup) resumes June 20-23 at Watkins Glen International, when all four classes will be in action at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.