Wayne Taylor scores Podium for Acura at Watkins Glen

Wayne Taylor Racing lead early, finish third in WeatherTech 240
Weather plays major role, causing extended red flag
Gradient Racing takes sixth place GTD result in the Acura NSX GT3 Evo

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 2, 2021) – It was a podium finish for Acura in a red flag-marred race Friday night at Watkins Glen International Raceway, with the championship-leading #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 Prototype finishing third in the IMSA WeatherTech 240.

Starting from pole position alongside the fellow Meyer Shank Racing ARX-05 in the hands of Olivier Pla, Ricky Taylor drove to an early lead, taking charge for the first 24 laps of the event. The team looked set for a strong finish before a red flag, for lightening in the area, stopped the on-track action.

Taylor’s co-driver, Filipe Albuquerque, closed the race for the Wayne Taylor team, bringing their Acura home third on a damp track.

Meyer Shank Racing’s #60 suffered early damage just after the start of the two-hour, 40-minute event, after making contact with the 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, sending starting driver Pla into a spin. He and co-driver Dane Cameron would persevere through the event with the damage and intermittent steering issues to finish sixth.

Acura NSX GT3 Evo
In the production-based GTD division, Gradient Racing’s Till Bechtolsheimer and Marc Miller backed up their best starting position of 2021 [fourth], with a sixth-place result in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo. Compass Racing’s Jeff Kingsley started his Acura NSX GT3 Evo just behind the Gradient machine, in the fifth place. Kingsley and co-driver Mario Farnbacher were on the verge of a top-five finish before debris severed their brake line late in the race. The pair would finish ninth.

Acura IMSA WeatherTech 240 Results
3rd overall – #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
Drivers Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque
6th overall – #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
Drivers Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla
6th GTD – Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Drivers Till Bechtolsheimer, Marc Miller
9th GTD – Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Drivers Jeff Kingsley, Mario Farnbacher

DPi Manufacturers’ Championship Drivers’ Championship (after 6 of 10 rounds)

  1. Cadillac 2,189 1. Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor 2,068
  2. Acura 2,154 2. Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell 1,987
  3. Mazda 2,059 3. Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr 1,954

Filipe Albuquerque (#10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05) finished third: “It was a very hard race for us.  In addition to being fast, I think the 31 [car] was a bit lucky in pitting just before the red flag, and having the lead. We were having our own fight with the guys closest to us in the championship [Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell].  In the end, P3 is still a decent result for us.  Obviously, I would like a win, but it was not possible.  We have four races to go, and we’re still leading the championship.”

Ricky Taylor (#10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05) finished third: “Wild race.  I think we showed pace again this weekend, but the other guys were really strong.  I’m really proud of the team. Filipe [Albuquerque, co-driver] did a really amazing job adapting to some really difficult conditions.  I think, where we are [leading] in the championship, we have to keep ourselves clean.  He didn’t take any risks, but managed to fight off our championship rivals, and maximized our day for [championship] points. The guys finishing ahead of us are not really in the [title] fight, so I think we can come out of the race happy.  We’ve got two good races for us coming up in Road America and Laguna Seca.  So we have that to look forward to, as we continue our fight for the championship.”

Mark Crawford (IMSA Large Project Leader, Honda Performance Development) on today’s podium at Watkins Glen: “With a third-place finish tonight, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura team extended their leads in the Drivers’ and Team’s championships.  We gave up a bit of ground in the Manufacturers’ Championship, but the contest is still very close between us.  There certainly were challenging conditions in the race.  It was cold throughout, dry, then wet on track, constantly changing conditions, really, plus a long red flag [race stoppage, for lightning in the area].  But HPD, and our Acura teams and drivers, adapted.  It’s a third-place finish, not a win, but for our season-long championship effort it’s a good result.  Coming up, both Road America and Laguna Seca suit our car, so we’re looking forward to all of the upcoming races.”

Acura IMSA WeatherTech 240 Fast Facts
Acura teams and drivers have scored two victories, and four additional podium results, in six races this season; with victories at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.

Acura finished second at the Twelve Hours of Sebring and at last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen; and third tonight at Watkins Glen and at the Detroit Grand Prix.

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next travels to Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park for a GT-only race July 16-17.

Acura Motorsports Social media content and video links from this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech 240 are available on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (www.twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).