Wayne Taylor Racing ended the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in fourth, a result that the team expected coming into the weekend knowing the strength of their championship rivals and the rest of the Cadillac field.
“We got the result that we expected today,” Ricky Taylor said. “The Cadillacs were clearly fastest this weekend. We finished the best of the rest. Filipe (Albuquerque) made a fantastic start, and because he did, we weren’t in a position to take a huge risk on the strategy, which ultimately wouldn’t have paid off, so the guys did their thing.”
Albuquerque started the race from fifth and was up to third after banging doors with Kevin Magnussen as the field weaved through the fountain on the opening lap of the race. Albuquerque’s bravery could do little to ward off the ultimate pace of the Cadillacs, leaving the No. 10 team to settle one spot off the podium.
“Coming in, we knew this was going to be a tough race for us,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “From the off, it was all three Cadillacs first, second, and third. We said, ‘If the No. 31 wins, we have to be fourth to keep the championship lead,’ and we’ve done that. We head to Motul Petit Le Mans where we’ll be on a more even keel, I think.”
With just 19 points separating the No. 10 Acura from the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, whichever team comes out on top at Road Atlanta will likely be the one crowned DPi champions.
Without factoring in qualifying points, a second-place finish for the No. 31 and a third-place finish for the No. 10 would mean the No. 31 wins the championship by one point. That makes the points paid out in qualifying all the more crucial.
“Obviously, we would have liked a podium or finish ahead of the No. 31, but they were simply too quick,” Albuquerque said. “The margin is very small so it’s all about who wins at Motul Petit Le Mans in a month’s time. Let’s see how it goes. Still leading the championship, that’s what matters.”