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Acura dominates with 1-2 finish at Mid-Ohio


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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Acura dominates with 1-2 finish at Mid-Ohio

Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque continued Acura’s winning ways at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and stretched the Acura ARX-05 prototype winning streak here to five years in a row in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio.


Starting second, Albuquerque moved into the lead at the start, and battled both fellow Acura racers Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist in their Meyer Shank Racing ARX-05, and the No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande throughout the first half of the endurance contest. A mid-race caution flag saw Taylor and van der Zande go wheel to wheel, with van der Zande eventually spinning and Blomqvist quick to capitalize as the Acura duo then ran 1-2 to the finish.


“What an amazing race.” said Albuquerque “I’m so happy about this group of people [at Wayne Taylor Racing and HPD], just an amazing job by everyone. We had a great start, but then the car was super, super tricky on old tires, and I was really worried. But the car came a little bit back to us [after the first pit stop] and Ricky just pulled it off, he was amazing. A perfect job by everyone at the Konica Minolta Acura team.”

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The victory is the fifth in a row for Acura at Mid-Ohio, as the manufacturer is undefeated here since returning to prototype competition in 2018.


“I can’t say enough about my teammate.” said Taylor “At the beginning [of the race], the tire pressures just went crazy [high] and I don’t know how he drove the car. Because I got an improvement [fresh tires and adjusted pressures] and I was still struggling. But at a track where we needed to get everything right, the team executed perfectly. They just nailed it. Great teams just find a way to win. We might not have been the fastest in qualifying, but this just goes to show how strong our team is, that we find a way to win, no matter what.”


Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn in the No.02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi finished third.



Juan Pablo Montoya driving the No.81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA LMP2 07 he shared with Henrik Hedman, spread his elbows twice during the two hour and 40 minute race to pass Jonathan Bomarito in the No.11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA he shared Steven Thomas. The first time was at the Keyhole (Turn 2) with 25 minutes to go as both cars made significant contact resulting in Bomarito spinning. That contact earned Montoya a pit-lane drive-through penalty. The second time happend after Montoya closed in again on Bomarito after serving the penalty. Montoya took the inside line into Turn 6 which resulted in both cars making contact again, contact that was deemed legal, giving Montoya the lead and the victory.


“I understand the penalty because I spun him,” Montoya said after collecting his seventh IMSA win. “I didn’t want to spin him; I thought I could pass him fair and square. Then we got the drive-through and I came out like four seconds behind and caught him. He made a mistake in traffic, he hesitated and I went for it.


“I’ve raced here, I’ve won here many times and I know traffic is the key. And he didn’t use it well.”



As time was running out as Colin Braun had the lead but was short on fuel in his No.54 CORE autosport LMP3 Ligier JS P320. Braun drove just fast enough to win while saving fuel as the No. 54 sputtered on the cooldown lap after taking the class victory with co-driver Jon Bennett.


“They gave me a target fuel number to try to hit,” Braun said. “I was trying to get through a couple guys ahead of me on the restart, so we got clear of those guys and then went into fuel-save mode and just tried to command the race. Total team effort from the guys at CORE.”



The No.70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3 of Jordan Pepper and Brendan Iribe was the first GTD car to cross the finish line first but finished the race last after the car was found underweight in post-race technical inspection. That handed the class win to Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the No.96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. For Auberlen said this isn’t the first win he’s been handed after the race was over.


“I think so,” he said, “and I’ve lost a win like this too. I’ve had them come and take the trophies away and I’ve had them give the trophies to me. I’ve already had a call from Bryan Sellers. He’s like, ‘Where’s my second-place trophy?’ I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, I need the first-place trophy!’”


Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and the No.1 Paul Miller Racing BMW moved up to second place and the No.12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 shared by Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz is now classified in third to round out the podium.


Race results


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