Wayne Taylor Racing announces 2023 IMSA GTP lineup

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Wayne Taylor Racing announces 2023 IMSA GTP lineup

IMSA

Wayne Taylor Racing announces 2023 IMSA GTP lineup

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Wayne Taylor Racing will retain its core lineup of Ricky Taylor And Filipe Albuquerque for its attack on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP title in 2023, adding LMP2 standout Louis Deletraz for the endurance events and Brendon Hartley for Daytona.

Wayne Taylor made the announcement during the first IMSA-sanctioned test of the LMDh cars that will run in the GTP class. Three manufacturers are running at the test, including WTR with its new Acura ARX-06. All four drivers are suited up and ready for some seat time in the new car.

Taylor and Albuquerque have two straight second-place finishes in the WeatherTech Championship. Two-time 2022 IMSA LMP2 race winner, Louis Deletraz, will bring his talents to the team’s three longest endurance races of the year — Daytona, Sebring, and Road Atlanta. Deletraz is coming off a strong winning drive at Petit just two days ago. Hartley put in an impressive triple-stint in the No. 10 during Petit Le Mans. The four pilots will compete behind the wheel of the all-new, electrified ARX-06 with the aim of achieving a record-tying sixth overall victory for Wayne Taylor Racing in the Rolex 24.

“As far as Daytona’s concerned, I cannot imagine a better lineup than what we have,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “It’s going to be a hard race. One of those races where you have to make it to the checkered flag to win the race. We’ve won a few of these races — it’s what my team does best, and I just need to make sure that they have all the tools. I couldn’t be happier than having Brendon back and I’ve been watching Louis for a while. He’s got experience. He’s young, but he’s very, very mature and he understands what is needed to be that third driver.”

As championship contenders this year, Taylor and Albuquerque will be carrying momentum into their third consecutive Rolex 24 as teammates.

“I think personalities are so important,” said Ricky Taylor, two-time IMSA champion. “At this level of motorsport, there are more than a handful of drivers who can perform at the highest level, but it seems that meshing compatible drivers together to extract the most out of the entire group seems to be the most important element in endurance racing. We were lucky to find Filipe, as he is an incredible teammate. Brendon is coming off a pole and win at Le Mans, and a stellar performance in our team at Petit Le Mans. As a driver and team member, he’s world class. The same can be said for Louis, who has already jelled with the team amazingly well. Aside from his obvious results and speed, he will be a valuable addition to the crew.”

Albuquerque enters his third year with the team, and has produced some impressive results, including some key moves that earned some of the team’s four wins this season.

“I’m really happy being teammates with Ricky,” said Filipe Albuquerque. “He’s just a star. Such a complete driver and human being. He is so quick behind the wheel and has won a lot. We’ve been fighting closely for the championship each year, and the partnership is working. It is good to have Brendon as my teammate and with Louis on board for the endurance races, we couldn’t be stronger.“

The top class int he IMSA WeatherTech Championship changes from DPi to GTP next year, which can incorporate both the LMDh-spec cars and the Hypercars.

“It’s an exciting moment in the endurance world,” continued Albuquerque. “So many great manufacturers and drivers are incoming and it’s so exciting to watch. Going into this era with more diverse competition means that I’m a lucky guy to be involved with developing a new car with a top manufacturer like Acura and HPD. Merging two series with the possibility of a team bringing a car from IMSA to Le Mans and vice versa, it’s going to be interesting to see the different mentalities on track. Everyone wants to be involved somehow. It’s good for the sport.”

Deletraz, the newest addition to the team come January, is a 25-year-old Swiss open-wheel racer and sports car champion. Winner of the 2021 European Le Mans Series title, he is currently competing in the World Endurance Championship, taking home second place honors in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2022. His LMP2 resume also includes IMSA experience, with an impressive win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this year and a dominant win to end the year at Petit Le Mans. Deletraz is ready to bring his talents to the GTP class in his second consecutive year competing at the Rolex 24.

“This lineup is fantastic,” said Deletraz. “I’m really excited to share the car with such talented drivers. Filipe and Ricky welcomed me to the WTR family straight away and already got me up to speed with everything that’s new ahead of 2023. We get along really well, and they want to win as much as I do. I love that mentality! It’s an honor for me to join WTR and Acura in the pinnacle class of sport cars. After successful years in LMP2 in IMSA and Europe it was my target to be here and I’m very thankful for the opportunity. Joining a team with so much history and success makes the expectations high. I can’t wait to get started.”

*Updated to include information from Monday’s test session.

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