Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque maintained the Acura ARX-05’s undefeated run of wins at Mid-Ohio following a controlling race by the Wayne Taylor Racing pairing in Sunday’s Lexus Grand Prix.
Taylor took the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura DPi to a 2.098-second win over the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing entry of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis in another Acura 1-2 finish.
While Albuquerque took over the lead from pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais at the start, the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R bounced back to retake the position on Lap 9 and extend to nearly a six-second advantage.
CGR’s race, however, became unraveled following the race’s only full course caution when Renger van der Zande and Taylor made slight contact while battling for the lead, resulting in a spin by the Dutchman.
No further action was made by IMSA officials, which saw van der Zande drop to sixth, more than 20 seconds behind.
Van der Zande and Bourdais ended up finishing fifth.
Up front, it marked Taylor’s fourth Mid-Ohio win in the last five years while Albuquerque claimed back-to-back wins following last year’s dramatic finish.
The No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Pipo Derani and Tristan Nunez completed the podium in third after being unable to match the outright pace of the No. 10 Acura DPi.
Nunez was one of several drivers to pit early in the two-hour and 40-minute race in an attempt to shake up strategy, which ultimately didn’t pan out.
Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn drove the No. 02 CGR Cadillac to a fourth place result, with Tristan Nunez and Richard Westbrook’s No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac bringing up the rear of the six-car DPi class.
LMP2 honors went to the No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson of Juan Pablo Montoya and Henrik Hedman, despite a late-race penalty for the Colombian spinning around the then class-leading No. 11 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca of Jonathan Bomarito.
The two cars first came together at the Keyhole with 25 minutes to go, resulting a drive-through penalty for Montoya for incident responsibility.
Having emerged from the pits less than five seconds behind the ex-Mazda factory driver, Montoya quickly regained the lost ground and made further contact with Bomarito before retaking the lead in the final ten minutes.
He crossed the line 13.652 seconds ahead of Bomarito, who shared driving duties with Steven Thomas.
The No. 20 High Class Racing Oreca pairing of Anders Fjorbach and Dennis Anderson completed the podium in third.
CORE autosport’s Colin Braun and Jon Bennett picked up the win in LMP3 in their No. 54 Ligier JS P320 Nissan.
Braun finished 1 lap ahead of the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier of Garett Grist, with Felipe Fraga’s No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier completing the class podium in third.
Inception McLaren Takes Last-Gasp GTD Victory
A late-race pass on Bill Auberlen by Jordan Pepper put Inception Racing and McLaren into victory lane for the first time in WeatherTech Championship competition in a fuel-mileage thriller in GTD.
Pepper, in the Optimum Motorsport-run No. 70 McLaren 720S GT3, got around Auberlen with less than five minutes remaining, with both cars attempting to save fuel.
Pepper, who shared top honors with Brendan Iribe, completed a mammoth 1 hour and 25-minute final stint on fuel and the same set of Michelin tires.
Auberlen and Robby Foley finished second in their No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, followed by the Paul Miller Racing BMW of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.
The No. 27 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin of Maxime Martin lost a sure-fire top-five class finish after pitting on the final lap for fuel.
The majority of the GTD runners had stretched their fuel to the maximum in the race, which featured only one full course caution.
RESULTS: Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio