2024 Detroit Grand Prix Post Race Report

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 team captured victory on the streets of Detroit, with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque handing Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (WTRAndretti) its second win of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

2024 Detroit Grand Prix Post Race Report

 

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 team captured victory on Saturday afternoon on the streets of Detroit, with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque handing Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (WTRAndretti) its second win of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Saturday’s 100-minute sprint race marked the debut of the GTP class on the streets of Detroit, and for both Taylor and Albuquerque, it was their first win since Road America in 2022.

 

On the tight 1.645-mile street circuit after qualifying fourth, Filipe Albuquerque knew the start of the Detroit Grand Prix would be a key moment to gain positions and the Portuguese driver did exactly that, moving up into second. From there, Albuquerque stayed in contention and eventually inherited the lead after the No. 6 Porsche received a penalty. With this being a 100-minute race, it brought the unique element of a one stop race, with fuel and driver change only being the strategy call. When coming to pit lane, the blue and black WTRAndretti crew executed what they needed to do and sent Ricky Taylor back out into second position with an hour left on the clock. Taylor knew he had a strong car and patiently waited for the perfect moment to make a stellar pass, taking the lead up the inside of Turn 3 with 26 minutes remaining. Once in the lead, despite a string of cautions, Taylor kept his head down and brought home the long overdue victory.

 

The No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 team rallied through the streets of Detroit to end the day with a top-five result. Jordan Taylor took the green flag and looked to gain positions on the start but unfortunately got shuffled back in the running order. As the opening stint played out, Taylor was able to work his way towards the front before the pit stop. With only fuel taken at the stop and a driver change to Louis Delétraz, the No. 40 WTRAndretti crew went to work and sent the No. 40 back out to stay in contention. Delétraz was able all the way to the end to earn the team’s second consecutive top-five finish.

 

The WTRAndretti team will return to endurance racing with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen from Watkins Glen International on June 20-23, 2024.

 

Wayne Taylor, Team Principal, WTRAndretti: “This was a fantastic result for the entire WTRAndretti team, both the No. 10 car and the No. 40 car. The team has worked flawlessly all week. We’ve had a rough time in the last two races, but we seem to have got everything back together. I can’t say enough about all our partners: Konica Minolta, DEX Imaging and our partnership with Acura and HRC as well as Michael Andretti’s group. This has been a long time coming, and I was ecstatic. Obviously, in the championship the No. 40 car is closer to being in the front than the No. 10 car, so we were debating what to do during the race. But the No. 10 car seemed to be in a different league, so we didn’t have to figure out how we would handle things. I’m so ecstatic.”

 

Michael Andretti, Chairman, Andretti Global: “I’m really excited to be here. I’ve been here now for the two wins this year. It’s exciting to be part of the No. 10 win and the No. 40 win. Hopefully this is a good sign for the rest of the year, get some more wins and get the championship.”

 

Ricky Taylor, No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 GTP: “This is Filipe and I’s fourth year together, and we’ve had a lot of success together. The No. 10 Konica Minolta car was on a roll for our first three years together, and we’ve had a really rough last year and a half. We were really struggling and hadn’t had a win in a long time, and it seemed nothing could go our way. First of all, everybody at HRC and Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti worked really hard to put us back in the game. Street courses were not our thing. This year we haven’t been fighting for wins outside of Sebring. Everybody really turned our season around and we had performance. In qualifying, it looked like Filipe and Jordan could have been fighting for a top three very easily. Starting fourth on a track that’s so difficult to pass on, we thought a podium would be a bit of a win. Filipe really set the tone of the race with his start. We were on the wrong side of the road, as the clean track is on the left, and we were on the bumpy outside, so we were going to be happy with a podium. But Filipe made the move on the outside and put us in the lead on his first stint. Fast forwarding to later in the race, we couldn’t believe we found ourselves effectively third on the road for that first restart. Nasr had a coming together which put us second, then it was a battle for the lead. The Porsche was really strong on short runs after restarts, so the longer it went, we could claw our way back. The Acura guys and the WTRAndretti whole team have made a really strong car in the braking zones, and that was where we were able to get it done. I think, had it not been for that one GT car, if we’d had all those restarts after and the way the race went, that was probably my last shot to get the Porsche, and I’m really relieved that we took advantage of it because it was still quite a long way to go. You’d have thought there’d have been more opportunities, but with how good they were on restarts, I don’t think I would have had another chance. There’s just so many people on the No. 10 car that have come around since we’ve expanded, and haven’t had any success on the No. 10 car, so happy for our group on the Konica Minolta side.”

 

Filipe Albuquerque, No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 GTP: “We are happy about this weekend. We had more pace than in other races in the past, so we knew we could do well. But to be honest, after what’s been happening to us, we needed to be humble so we thought a podium would be good for us. But again, at the end of the day, we are racers. We go wherever opportunity takes us, and I think the start was a good example of that. I was just a bit worried about the hairpin there with our cars since they are bigger, but the car felt good braking down, and I was in second, so I was pretty happy about it. I could see as well that the Porsche in front of me took out a Ferrari, so I could see that penalty coming. Eventually I was leading, and as awkward as it is, I was actually nervous. It’s been a while since we were leading a sprint race with the car doing well. It was not easy; there was still a lot to go. I was a bit nervous about the pit stop since it's so hard to get in and go tight to the right side with our cars. But the pit stop went well and made no mistakes, so I was super happy to hand the car over in first place, but there was still so much to go. I told the team to stay calm and keep going, and Ricky went in and made the pass. I’m super proud of my teammate and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 team.”

 

Louis Delétraz, No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 GTP: “Considering our speed today, P5 is very good points. First of all, a massive congratulations to the No. 10 car and WTRAndretti for the second win of the season. They deserve it, and they’ve been unlucky so far this year. I’m very happy for the whole team. For us, we didn’t have the pace today. I was sliding all over for the last hour, but to finish in fifth and get those points is very good.”

 

Jordan Taylor, No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 GTP: “We didn’t have a great start, and that set the tone for the first part of the race. It was tough to pass or make moves. We had a good strategy call to make the stop in traffic and had a good driver change and execution there, so we were able to jump up a couple spots. I don’t think we had the outright pace this weekend on the No. 40 DEX Imaging car side, but I think it’s decent to at least salvage a fifth-place finish. We beat a couple of the guys in the championship hunt, but some of the others beat us. But overall, a good day for the WTRAndretti team itself. Good for the No. 10 car to get their money off their back these last couple years and get another win.”

 

 

 

ABOUT WTRANDRETTI

Andretti Global and Wayne Taylor Racing announced a new, long-term partnership in 2023 that combines the resources of the two championship-caliber teams to compete in IMSA’s top classes. In 2024, Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (WTRAndretti) has expanded to a two-car GTP program as well as competes in the GTD class. Coming off its 2023 championship winning effort, WTRAndretti continues its Driver Development Program competing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series with a full stable.

 

WTRAndretti’s global motorsports enterprise boasts two IMSA driver championships (2013 and 2017), and back-to-back IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Championships (2020, 2021) which contributed to nine IMSA manufacturer championships for Acura, Pontiac, Corvette and Cadillac. In its brief 17-year history, WTRAndretti has accumulated multiple victories in sportscar racing’s most iconic events: Rolex 24 At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, Mid-Ohio, Road America and the Six Hours of The Glen. With its back-to-back PRO Class Championship wins (2022, 2023), WTR also has ten North America Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship titles and a Lamborghini World Finals title.

 

Andretti Global, a Championship-winning motorsports organization, competes in additional racing categories worldwide, including the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Extreme E, Australian Supercars and the Mexico SuperCopa Championship. Additionally, the racing enterprise commits to driver development through competition in INDY NXT by Firestone and through support of Sebastian and Oliver Wheldon’s racing careers.

 

WTRAndretti’s long term partnerships include Acura, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, DEX Imaging, Harrison Contracting Company and Gainbridge.