WTRAndretti Acura ARX-06 GTP Teams Sprint West forAcura Grand Prix of Long Beach

LONG BEACH, California (April 16, 2024) – Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (WTRAndretti) duo of Acura ARX-06 GTPs head to the west coast for the prestigious Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. After completing the two longest endurance events to kick off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the WTRAndretti team switch focus to the sprint portion of the schedule. WTRAndretti has a successful history around the 11-turn temporary street circuit with three wins, five podiums and three pole positions. All three victories tallied under the WTRAndretti banner came from both Ricky and Jordan Taylor (2015, 2016, 2017), but the brothers will compete separately in their respective Acura ARX-06s. As the Acura GTP factory effort, the WTRAndretti pair of Acura ARX-06 GTPs will be looking to bring home victory at the manufacturer’s home and namesake event.

For the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 team, the goal is to pick up from 2023’s momentum around the Long Beach street circuit. Full season drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque started last year’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach from pole position after an impressive lap from Albuquerque. Although the finishing result didn’t end as anticipated, the blue and black machine displayed pace unlike any other throughout the 100-minute race. Between Taylor and Albuquerque, the pairing has won on the streets of Long Beach five times but are still aiming to accomplish that feat together as co-drivers in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06.

Coming off a stellar victory at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, the No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 team with Jordan Taylor and Louis Delétraz will enter the sprint racing season for 2024 with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach while simultaneously leading the championship standings. For Taylor, the Long Beach weekend marks his return to prototype racing at the 1.968-mile street course where along with his three wins, he has two pole positions (2021, GTLM; 2022 GTD PRO). As for Delétraz, this will be the first sprint race event in his IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship career and debut on the streets of Long Beach.

Action on the streets of Long Beach begins Friday, April 19, with practice at 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT) and capping off the day with qualifying at 8:25 p.m. ET (5:25 p.m. ET) on Peacock. The field will see the green flag fly for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday, April 20, at 4:35 p.m. ET (1:35 p.m. PT) with full broadcast on USA Network and Peacock.
Wayne Taylor, Team Principal, WTRAndretti: “We had a pretty good car in Long Beach last year; we thought we had the win, but unfortunately Ricky hit the wall on the last lap for the lead. I think the guys are very focused on this year because it’s so important for Acura and HRC being their event. I’m excited also as this is the first time we’re running two cars at Long Beach. We’re joint leaders in the championship with Penske. Strategy will be very important, and I feel good about our driver lineup, feel good about the team and ready to content for a win for Acura and HRC.”

No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 GTP Drivers
Ricky Taylor: “I expect the Long Beach weekend to be intense. After two very grueling endurance events, Long Beach is always the ultimate sprint, only being 100 minutes. So, the WTRAndretti team will be firing on all cylinders from first practice through the short race. The amazing thing about the IMSA schedule is how diverse the races and tracks are. I think the race itself reflects very little from the first two races of the season, so the main thing to take will be the lessons we’ve learned from a team standpoint on how we can best use the two cars along with all of the new combinations of team members and communication between everyone. Daytona and Sebring provided the team with plenty of pre-event testing and track time for us to try many combinations of setups. Long Beach is extremely limited with relevant track time, so utilizing the two cars to split the very short track time is going to be more premium than ever. We’re ready to pick up where we left off in 2023 and represent Konica Minolta and Acura and HRC at their home race.”

Filipe Albuquerque: “Long Beach, last year we had a great build up. We were super quick in free practice. Qualifying was a memorable lap that I did last year with a pole position; the car was brilliant. Unfortunately, the race did come our way, but again the speed was there so we expect to be competitive again. Hopefully, we can finish this bad luck against our No. 10 car – always something happening that takes us from fighting for the win. I just hope that Ricky and I can fight for the win again and see where we come from there. WTRAndretti had a great setup last year so let’s try it again. The team is coming from a win in Sebring, so the motivation is high from everybody and get the win for Acura, HRC and Konica Minolta.”

No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 GTP Drivers
Louis Delétraz: “I am very excited for Long Beach. It will be my first time at this track and from what I hear it’s an amazing event. It’s the first sprint race of 2024 and we will continue with the same approach as we started the year. The Acura ARX-06 looked strong in 2023 and I can’t wait to be back with the WTRAndretti boys and girls and our No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura GTP.”

Jordan Taylor: “Long Beach is always a classic IMSA street fight. It’s our shortest race of the year so the intensity is always high throughout the weekend. There’s no room for error and everyone has to be on it from the drivers to the crew to the engineers. The No. 10 car was very strong there last year, so hopefully we can pick up from where they left off last year. We are coming into the weekend with some great momentum after Sebring, so hopefully we can keep that going and leave with two Acuras on the podium at their home race.”

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 US (HRC), Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, DEX Imaging, Harrison Contracting Company and Gainbridge.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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