Filipe Albuquerque held off a hard-charging Ricky Taylor to give Mustang Sampling Racing back-to-back victories in the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.
Albuquerque capitalized on last-lap traffic to take a 0.740-second win over the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Taylor and pole-sitter Helio Castroneves in second.
It came after an intense battle between the two DPis in the closing stages of the 100-minute street fight that saw the Action Express Racing-run No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R take over the lead following the final round of pit stops.
Albuquerque pitted with 41 minutes to go with a slow right-front puncture although emerged ahead of the pair of Penske Acura DPis, which slipped by the then race-leading No. 77 Mazda RT24-P of Oliver Jarvis, who had a slow exit from pit lane.
It marked Albuquerque and co-driver Joao Barbosa’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory since Long Beach last year.
Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the podium in third, followed by Jarvis, in what came as another missed opportunity for Mazda Team Joest after a race-leading run.
Stephen Simpson took the No. 84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi across the line in fifth, ahead of Pipo Derani, who charged back from a penalty and for losing his right-front wheel after the car’s first scheduled pit stop.
The Brazilian, who was in the lead at the time, dropped one lap behind but managed to make a late-race rally.
It came after battling the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi of Will Owen, who went into the barriers with six minutes to go while running in sixth following a strategic run that saw co-driver Kyle Kaiser lead the race outright.
The No. 55 Mazda DPi, which underwent a tub change overnight after an accident in qualifying by Jonathan Bomarito, was damaged early by another spin by Bomarito and stopped on track in the hands of Harry Tincknell.
It finished two laps behind in 15th overall, ahead of the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi, which was delayed after a brush with the wall by Misha Goikhberg’s early on.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi, which entered the weekend tied for the points lead, was one of two retirements after an accident by Renger van der Zande late in the opening hour.
Jordan Taylor, who was racing five days after emergency appendicitis surgery, ran as high as fourth prior to receiving a drive-through penalty for passing under a local yellow.
An accident by CORE autosport’s Jon Bennett on the opening lap brought out the first yellow and eventual first retirement.
RESULTS: Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix