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Taylor, Albuquerque Prevail in Acura Battle at Laguna Seca

Filipe Albuquerque holds off Tom Blomqvist for Laguna Seca win in Acura 1-2…

Photo: Jake Galsatd/IMSA

Wayne Taylor Racing has scored victory in Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, following a hard-fought battle with fellow Acura squad Meyer Shank Racing.

Filipe Albuquerque took the No. 10 Acura ARX-05 to a 1.080-second win over Tom Blomqvist’s MSR machine in the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

Having started on pole, Ricky Taylor stretched out into an early lead until the race’s only full-course caution for a heavy accident by the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of GTD class pole-sitter Russell Ward.

An undercut strategy by MSR, however, put Tom Blomqvist out front briefly in the two-hour and 40-minute race although an aggressive move by Albuquerque, which saw the two cars make slight contact heading into the Corkscrew, put the Konica Minolta-sponsored Acura back out front.

It marked Albuquerque and Taylor’s first race win of the season and was Acura’s fourth consecutive triumph at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca — including Taylor’s third straight at the Californian circuit.

The No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac of Pipo Derani and Tristan Nunez completed the podium in third, followed by Tristan Nunez and Richard Westbrook in the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac. 

Chip Ganassi Racing had a race to forget, with an off-course excursion for Alex Lynn costing the No. 02 car a potential podium challenge, while a loss of electrical power resulted in retirement for the Long Beach-winning No. 01 Cadillac, which was started by Sebastien Bourdais,

LMP2 class honors went to the No. 8 Tower Motorsport duo of Louis Deletraz and John Farano after both of the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibsons faded in the second half of the race.

Deletraz got around the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen entry of 16-year-old Josh Pierson for the class lead in the final hour and crossed the line 23.211 seconds ahead of the No. 18 Era Motorsport car of Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman despite an early race spin for the Bronze-rated driver.

The No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca of Juan Pablo Montoya and Hendrik Hedman completed the podium, rebounding from a drive-through penalty for wheel spin while on the car’s jacks during a pit stop and a spin in pit lane by the Colombian.

Pole-sitter Steven Thomas also spun at the start but regained the class lead at the end of his second stint until looping the No. 11 car again. It finished fifth with Jonathan Bomarito completing the race.

Porsche Customers Claim GTD Pro, GTD Class Honors

Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell claimed a controlling win in GTD Pro for Pfaff Motorsports, rebounding from the team’s freak pit lane incident at Long Beach to retake the championship lead.

Campbell took his No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R to a 31.896-second win over the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat in a trouble-free run for the Canadian squad.

The No. 25 Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 of Connor De Phillippi and John Edwards completed the class podium in third.

Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia, which entered the weekend as the GTD Pro points leaders, finished fourth in class.

Wright Motorsports, meanwhile, came out on top in GTD, thanks to a late-race pass by Jan Heylen on Bill Auberlen for the class win.

Heylen took the No. 16 Porsche to a 5.517-second victory over the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Jeff Westphal, who made a last-lap overtake on Auberlen for second.

Heylen shared top class honors with co-driver Ryan Hardwick.

Auberlen and co-driver Robby Foley, meanwhile, completed the class podium in third ahead of the Paul Miller Racing BMW and Team Korhoff Motorsports Mercedes, which completed the top-five in GTD.

RESULTS: Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship

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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