The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 team finished fifth after a hard-fought race at the TireRack.com Battle On The Bricks, the penultimate race on the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule. As Ricky Taylor and the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport (WTRAndretti) started the two hour, 40-minute sprint race from fifth position, it was about survival heading to the tight right hand Turn 1. The field shuffled order after the green flag and Taylor had to have heads up driving to avoid the contact happening in front of him. Taylor ended up nearly last in the GTP field, and sustained minor damage, but continued on track before a caution for debris on the opening lap then led to the GTP field to grouping back together for the restart in the first ten minutes of the race. From there, it was all eyes forward to gain ground lost from Lap 1 for Taylor and blue and black crew.
Near the two hours to go mark, an LMP2 and GTD car were stopped on track and the pit stand gambled on a strategy call to bring Taylor and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 to pit lane for driver change and full tire and fuel service as it looked like a caution could fly, but the track stayed green, sending co-driver Filipe Albuquerque out in ninth position. Albuquerque continued to chip away at competitors in front of him with the goal to capitalize on the maximum championship points as possible for the day. The Portuguese co-driver was able to work his way up into a top-five result, but the gap was too large to minimize to gain on others ahead before the checkered flag. Despite a challenging day for the WTRAndretti team on track, the team remains second in the championship hunt, just three points from the leader, heading to the 10-hour finale at Motul Petit Le Mans.
“Not what we were looking for today,” said Ricky Taylor. “Our championship competitors had a really strong day and things didn’t quite fall our way - from qualifying to the start of the race, having a little bit of misfortunate. All the WTRAndretti guys prepared very well for the event, and I have to say did a flawless job. The car was competitive, but things didn’t fall our way today. On the positive side, we don’t have to go to Road Atlanta defending, we just have to go to Road Atlanta shooting for a win and being aggressive which is what we like to do. We will look forward to that!”
“I think it was a hard day for us,” said Filipe Albuquerque. “Still, we were ahead of the championship contenders at the race start. Then everything went completely opposite after Turn 1. The car spun right in front of us, and we went from P5, looking good, to P-Last. Then when we did the driver change, we lost another lap because of the yellow. So, everything was going wrong. I was last and tried to work hard and start passing guys. I think I passed everyone apart of one, still chasing the 31. I did my best. I don’t think we had more in the car today. I think we damaged the car with the Turn 1 incident. We would have liked to have been better. Like every year in IMSA, it is down to the final race, Petit Le Mans.”
“Disappointing,” said Wayne Taylor. “Honestly the drivers and WTRAndretti team did a good job. We just didn’t seem to have the speed. It makes the championship going into Petit even more wide open. So, we need to go back and regroup and figure out what is going on.”
The WTRAndretti now heads to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the final race of 2023: Motul Petit Le Mans. With the championship battle tight, it be all focus forward to get the title come race day. Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque will be joined by Louis Delétraz as their IMSA Michelin Endurance Championship co-driver for the 10-hour race. On-track preparations for the Motul Petit Le Mans begins Thursday, October 12, 2023, and the 10-hour endurance race is set for Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 11:40 a.m. ET, broadcast on Peacock and USA Network.
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Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is reshaping and revolutionizing the workplace to achieve true connectivity through the Intelligent Connected Workplace. The company guides and supports its clients’ digital transformation through its expansive office technology portfolio, including IT Services (All Covered), intelligent information management, managed print services and industrial and commercial print solutions. Konica Minolta has been included on CRN’s MSP 500 list nine times and The World Technology Awards named the company a finalist in the IT Software category. Konica Minolta has been recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys for fifteen consecutive years, and is proud to be ranked on the Forbes 2021 America's Best-in-State employers list. The company received Keypoint Intelligence’s BLI 2021 A3 Line of The Year Award and BLI 2021-2023 Most Color Consistent A3 Brand Award for its bizhub i-Series. Konica Minolta, Inc. has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for nine consecutive years and has spent four years on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. The company recognizes 150 years in global business in 2023. Konica Minolta partners with its clients to give shape to ideas and works to bring value to our society. For more information, please visit us online and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 effort and Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport (WTRAndretti) is supported by an outstanding lineup of partners including Harrison Contracting Company, Acura Motorsports, Honda Performance Developmentand Hammer Nutrition .