Wayne Taylor Racing won the IMSA Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship for the second consecutive year Sunday, topping the results from the pole position at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
After the handoff from Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque took the checkered flag in the No. 10 Acura by 1.080 seconds over the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist.
Albuquerque took the lead from Blomqvist with just over an hour remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute event on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. Tristan Nunez and Pipo Derani were third in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac.
Albuquerque finished the race with a triple stint of more than two hours behind the wheel.
“I knew it was going to be a long stint, but the engineers said this is the best strategy to win,” he said. “I said, ‘Let’s do whatever it takes for the win.’ This was an important race for us because we know this track suits our car. So, it was very important to do pole position and win.
“We grabbed it, but it was not easy. We were flat out. It was a tough race, but I think that’s the beauty of endurance racing. Even if you are a couple tenths faster, traffic puts you back.”
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Taylor, who set an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship track record in qualifying, had built a lead of more than 10 seconds while racing against a field filled with lesser-skilled GT drivers.
“With me running with the ‘gentlemen’ drivers at the start, I got lucky with traffic a couple times and once you get a cushion, it’s quite easy to manage,” Taylor said. “Then Filipe was in against all the pro drivers in the GTs, and it didn’t work out as well for him. He was always under pressure.
“We played some strategy early which bit us and gave the No. 60 the lead. But Filipe made it happen on the track. We didn’t want to settle for second, and he won the race.”
Taylor and Albuquerque combined to lead 111 of the 117 laps in the 46th career victory for the team owned by Wayne Taylor. The DPi category has delivered four winning cars through four races this season.
A rundown of winners in other categories:
John Farano and Louis Deletraz earned their first career IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car championship victory. in the No. 8 ORECA. It’s the second victory at Laguna Seca for Tower Motorsports, which became the third LMP2 team to win this season and its 18th in IMSA.
Pfaff Motorsports became the first multiple winner in GTD Pro this season with its second victory at Laguna Seca and the eighth of its IMSA career.
No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3R drivers Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet earned their first wins at Laguna Seca, where Pfaff has won the past two seasons in a GT car.
Jan Heylen (who turned 42 Sunday) and Ryan Hardwick earned their second victory of the season in the No. 16 Wright Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R. It’s the team’s fourth career win and first at Laguna Seca. Wright Motorsport became the first repeat winner in GTD this season.
STATS PACKAGE FOR IMSA HYUNDAI MONTEREY SPORTS CAR CHAMPIONSHIP:
NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 15.