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Laguna Seca Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

***Wayne Taylor Racing became the fourth different DPi winner in four races this year in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque taking victory in Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

***It marked Taylor’s fourth consecutive win at Laguna Seca, dating back to his days at Acura Team Penske, and the WTR pairing’s second straight at the Californian circuit.

***Taylor and Albuquerque are now tied for the points lead with Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis following a challenging race for the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who entered the weekend atop the DPi championship standings.

***Lynn crashed the car on his in-lap with 1 hour and 15 minutes to go, which left it with nose damage that Bamber struggled with during his stint en route to a fifth place finish. “I think we had a good car today and think we had a car for the podium,” said Bamber. “But we didn’t execute well and we got some damage on the nose. So, we just had to bring it to the end to grab some points.”

***The Long Beach-winning No. 01 CGR Cadillac retired after electrical issues that were unable to be rectified. Sebastien Bourdais stopped on track ten minutes into the race and managed to get the car going again before shutting off again and pitting.

***CGR team manager Steve Eriksen explained: “We had an intermittent power issue which causes the whole electrical system to shut down, including the power steering. We took it back to the garage, switched out a couple of components to see if that would make a difference. We were able to get the car started again and it had the same problem, so the more time we spent on it the more we realized we just need to take it back and diagnose the problem.”

***JDC-Miller Motorsports’s three-race podium streak ended on Sunday with the No. 5  Cadillac of Tristan Vautier and Richard Westbrook finishing fourth.

***Era Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman have taken over the lead in the LMP2 points standings with their runner-up finish. The pairing hold a 33-point advantage over Tower Motorsport’s Louis Deletraz and John Farano, who claimed their first class win of the season on Sunday.

***Pfaff Motorsports became the first GTD Pro team to win multiple races this year, with Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell retaking the points lead with a commanding win. It marked the Canadian squad’s second consecutive Laguna win after Laurens Vanthoor and Zach Robichon took top honors in GTD last year.

***Jaminet and Campbell now hold a 50-point lead over Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia, who finished fourth in the race. The Vasser Sullivan Lexus pairing of Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat sit third in the title race, 80 points behind the Pfaff duo.

***Wright Motorsports’ Jan Heylen and Ryan Hardwick re-took the GTD points lead with their second win of the season. The pairing are now 30 points ahead of Stevan McAleer, who along with sub Dirk Mueller drove the No. 32 Team Korhoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to a fifth place class finish.

***Heylen and Hardwick also closed to within 40 points of WeatherTech Sprint Cup leaders Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, which finished fourth.

***Wright scored two victories over the weekend as VOLT Racing, run by the John Wright-led operation this year, picked up top honors in Saturday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge race with Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson.

***Lexus earned its best showing in six years at Laguna Seca, with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat finishing second in GTD Pro in their No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. It surpassed a sixth place GTD class finish last year by Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz.

***Both the Lexus and the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD made early race pit stops as part of a planned three-race strategy, prior to topping up on fuel during the race’s first and only full-course caution just moments later. “From where we started the race, we had to take risks with strategy to make things happen,” said Jordan Taylor. “Fortunately the first call to pit early and the early yellow put us to the lead.”

***BMW Team RLL scored its first GTD Pro podium for the BMW, with Connor De Phillippi saying the team “made the best of what we had today.”

***Bill Auberlen appeared to be en route to his record-extending 65th win in top-level IMSA competition until fading late while struggling with tire degradation in his GTD class Turner Motorsport entry. “We did not quite have the winning setup today, but we definitely showed we have a contender,” said Auberlen, who along with co-driver Robby Foley also scored their first podium with the new-for-2022 car.

***Turner Motorsport caught a break on Sunday morning when it arrived at the track to find its BMW with a power steering leak. Work was completed to change the unit prior to morning warmup.

***The No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus, which qualified ninth in GTD, strategically started the race on four fresh Michelin tires and was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for changing more than one tire post-qualifying. Frankie Montecalvo picked up eight positions during his double stint before handing over to Telitz for an eighth place class result.

***Several GTD cars nearly ran afoul of the 45-minute minimum drive time, with both Michael de Quesada and Rob Ferriol having to get back in their Alegra Motorsports Mercedes and Hardpoint Porsche, respectively, for the closing stint. De Quesada suffered an off-course excursion with nine minutes to go in the race while running sixth in GTD.

***A diffuser issue sent the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 behind the wall after encountering multiple penalties earlier in the race for the UK-based squad.

***GTD pole-sitter Russell Ward emerged without injury following a massive accident in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. It has put question into the chassis’ participation for next weekend’s Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio.

***Laguna Seca marked the last GTD Pro race until the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in June, with LMP3 cars rejoining the field for Mid-Ohio.

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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