No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Team Lead Charge for WTRAndretti at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

LONG BEACH, California (April 20, 2024) – The Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti (WTRAndretti) pair of Acura ARX-06 GTP teams took to the streets for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. As the opener to the sprint season for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the 100-minute showdown on the streets of Long Beach always proves to be full of action.

Filipe Albuquerque and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 saw the green flag wave from eighth position and capitalized on the start to move into sixth on the opening lap. Albuquerque ran steady within an earshot of his No. 40 teammates and the lead GTP teams. Pitting just before the one-hour remaining mark, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 crew serviced for the race’s only pit stop as Ricky Taylor climbed behind the wheel. For Taylor, it was all about continuing forward on the grid to gain positions on the GTP competitors. With a challenging second stint on the 1.968-mile street course and a drive through penalty for incident responsibility with the No. 85, Taylor brought home the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 in eighth.

For the No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06, Jordan Taylor started the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach sixth on the grid with a mission to get to the front. With an impressive move on the start of the 100-minute sprint race, Taylor was able to move up a position into the top five. Keeping the front GTP competitors within distance, Taylor came to pit lane and the No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 crew went to work with full service and a driver change to Louis Delétraz. Through the pit stop cycles, Delétraz was poised to gain a position on track but unfortunately made contact with the wall in Turn 1, ending the day early for the No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 team.

The WTRAndretti team will continue a West Coast swing as they head to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, on May 10-12, 2024.

Wayne Taylor, Team Principal, WTRAndretti: “That was a pretty rough weekend. I don’t know, we never had the pace all weekend; can’t figure out why. We tried some different strategy in the race, but it didn’t work because it was just a little bit too late with the yellow. It was unfortunate that the No. 40 car went off because of their points in the championship. Sorry to our partners, Acura, HRC, Konica Minolta and DEX Imaging. The team works hard and we’ll come back stronger.”
No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 GTP Drivers
Ricky Taylor: “This was a difficult weekend for the team. On the No. 10 Konica Minolta car side, we were in a position where we could take some risks, and the way the race went it just didn’t quite work out today. I took some risks that resulted in a penalty, and that was just on me, taking a little bit too much risk. But I think we improved the car throughout the weekend. Coming off of last year we had really high expectations. For whatever reason, when we unloaded, we didn’t have the same performance. The team worked really hard to improve throughout the week, and I think we ended up racing the best car we had all weekend. So, we’re going to keep taking steps forward. We have a test coming up in Laguna Seca, so we’ll put this result behind us and have a good second third to the season.”

Filipe Albuquerque: “When starting from the back, it’s always a hard one. Obviously, it needs to be a long recovery, everything needs to be top notch. My stint went pretty well, I recovered two places. Then I was going along together with Jordan, and we were steady there, pulling away from the guys in the back. Pitstop went well, I think. I don’t know what happened, but we lost a lot in the second stint on the first laps, maybe cold tires. We don’t know, we need to analyze that. Again, it was a hard one. But it’s just a shame because the car that I pitted ahead of in the fight in the pits finished on the podium, P3, and we finished second to last. Obviously, we need to understand what went wrong there. But nevertheless it was a hard weekend all the way, and we’re gonna keep working.”

No. 40 DEX Imaging Acura ARX-06 GTP Drivers
Louis Delétraz: “First of all, I am very disappointed and my apologies to Jordan, Acura, HRC, DEX Imaging and the whole team. I am still waiting to better understand what happened, but I lost the car before the actual corner on a straight line. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but, obviously, not the end we wanted especially after we had managed to get to P5. This was my first time at Long Beach. With the weekend being Acura’s home race and with so many fans, this is such a great event.”

Jordan Taylor: “Obviously a disappointing day. Coming in, we thought we’d be very strong after last year, getting pole and having probably the quickest car in the race. We thought we’d have a strong package. We seemed to lose some pace, so we need to figure out if that was the new tire we had this weekend or what it was, but I think we were fighting for fourth there when the incident happened. We’re not sure if something happened to the car which caused Louis to have the accident. It seems like everyone in the championship has one bad race and still ends up fighting for the championship, so we just need to forget about it this, move on to Laguna Seca and focus on winning some more races this year.”

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 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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