IMSA 2022 Laguna Seca results: Wayne Taylor Racing Acura wins from the pole position

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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.

RESULTS: Click here for the final overall finishing order l Click here for the class breakdown

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.”

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:


LMP2

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.

GTD Pro

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.

GTD

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:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 15.

Miguel Oliveira wins MotoGP Thai Grand Prix, Bagnaia closes to two points in championship

MotoGP Thai Grand Prix
Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images
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Miguel Oliveira mastered mixed conditions on the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand to win the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix. Oliveira showed the adaptability as he navigated a race that began in wet conditions and turned dry over the course of the race. Oliveira won the Indonesian GP in similar conditions.

“It was a long race, but I can’t complain,” Oliveira said on CNBC. “Every time we get to ride in the wet, I’m always super-fast. When it started raining, I had flashbacks of Indonesia. I tried to keep my feet on the ground, make a good start and not make mistakes and carry the bike to the end.”

All eyes were on the championship, however. Francesco Bagnaia got a great start to slot into second in Turn 1.

Meanwhile Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous first lap. He lost five positions in the first couple of turns and then rode over the rumble strips and fell back to 17th. At the end of the first lap, Bagnaia had the points’ lead by two. A win would have added to the gain and for a moment, it appeared Bagnaia might assume the lead.

Early leader Marco Bezzecchi was penalized for exceeding track limits, but before that happened, Jack Miller got around Bagnaia and pushed him back to third. Oliveira was not far behind.

After throwing away ninth-place and seven points on the last lap of the Japanese GP last week, Bagnaia did not allow the competition to press him into a mistake. He fell back as far as fourth before retaking the final position on the podium.

“It’s like a win for me, this podium,” Bagnaia. “My first podium in the wet and then there was a mix of conditions, so I’m very happy. I want to thank Jack Miller. Before the race, he gave me a motivational chat.”

Miller led the first half of the Thai Grand Prix before giving up the top spot to Oliveira and then held on to finish second. Coupled with his Japanese GP win, Miller is now fully in the MotoGP championship battle with a 40-point deficit, but he will need a string of results like Bagnaia has put together in recent weeks – and he needs Bagnaia to lose momentum.

Miller’s home Grand Prix in Australia is next up on the calendar in two weeks.

Bagnaia entered the race 18 points behind Quartararo after he failed to score any in Japan. The balance of power has rapidly shifted, however, with Quartararo now failing to earn points in two of the last three rounds. Bagnaia won four consecutive races and finished second in the five races leading up to Japan. His third-place finish in Thailand is now his sixth MotoGP podium in the last seven rounds.

Aleix Espargaro entered the race third in the standings with a 25-point deficit to Quartararo, but was able to close the gap by only five after getting hit with a long-lap penalty for aggressive riding when he pushed Darryn Binder off course during a pass for position. Espargaro finished 11th.

Rain mixed up the Moto2 running order in the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix as well. Starting on a wet track, Somkiat Chantra led the opening lap in his home Grand Prix. He could not hold onto it and crashed one circuit later, but still gave his countrymen a moment of pride by winning the pole.

Half points were awarded as the race went only eight laps before Tony Arbolino crossed under the checkers first with Filip Salac and Aron Canet rounding out the podium.

American Joe Roberts earned another top-10 in eighth with Sean Dylan Kelly finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th.