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HPD Letting Acura DPi Title Contenders “Go Race”

No specific orders from Honda Performance Development, Acura on DPi title fight…

Photo: John Dagys

Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing won’t be under any specific orders from Acura other than to “go race” according to Honda Performance Development President David Salters, who has characterized the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season as “pretty remarkable” for the brand.

While Acura will clinch its third DPi manufacturers’ title in the last four years by either of the championship-contending cars starting Saturday’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, the drivers’ and teams’ titles could come down to the final corner of the final lap.

WTR’s Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque enter the weekend just 19 points ahead of the MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis in the tightest points battle of the five WeatherTech Championship classes.

HPD and Acura’s season-long philosophy of letting the two factory-backed DPis race each other will not change, with no extra conditions on the table for Petit Le Mans according to Salters.

“They’re two independent teams,” he told Sportscar365. “We just want them to race, particularly in this situation.

“We have our powertrains which are made at HPD, so we just have to look after our stuff. That’s our first responsibility.

“It would be nice to get some cars back at the end of the day. With my President hat on I can say these cars are quite expensive!

“But we’ve been very consistent [with our messaging]. The message is always go race and focus on what they need to focus on.

“I’d rather they not knock each other off [track]. But they’ve avoided that [so far this season]. They’ve put on a great show this year, those two cars.”

MSR’s Jarvis, meanwhile, expects a hard-fought yet respectful battle between the two cars on Saturday.

“I think we’ve behaved ourselves pretty well between the two cars,” he told Sportscar365. “I think HPD is probably in a nice position in that it will be us or the 10 car [winning the championship].

“They’re going to be winners regardless. But as long as we keep the respect we’ve had all year, I don’t see any reason for them to get involved.

“It’s been a tough fight all year. There’s been close calls at times but it’s always been fair and respectful. I think we’ll finish that and there’s no need for people to get involved.”

WTR and MSR have combined for five victories in nine races, six additional podium finishes and five poles in what has been one of the most successful years for Acura in IMSA competition.

“If you look at the strength of our opposition, I think it has been remarkable, so hats off to everyone involved,” said Salters.

“Well done to Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing and Mike Shank and Wayne [Taylor] for the brilliant job they’ve done to end up in this position to go race.

“The thing you’re most pleased about is the people behind the scenes in WTR, MSR, HPD, in our trailers doing real work.

“That’s always the bit you take most pleasure on. The people that do the work get rewarded for it. I think it’s been pretty remarkable and you shouldn’t take that for granted very often.

“Endurance racing is hard. Just getting those cars to the end of 24 hours, 12 hours, 10 hours, is just hard.

“Our responsibility is to do our best for Acura. But those guys as stewards have done a fantastic job. They have brilliant race teams and are good racers.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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