IMSA 2022 Mid-Ohio results: Wayne Taylor Racing wins again; Montoya triumphs in LMP2

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IMSA Mid-Ohio results: Ricky Taylor took the lead after contact with Renger van der Zande as the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura outdueled the No. 01 Cadillac of Chip Ganassi Racing in the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Taylor and co-driver Filipe Albuquerque delivered a second consecutive victory in the DPi category Sunday in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series for WTR, which won two weeks ago at Laguna Seca.

“I just felt the touch and tried to give him room,” Taylor told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman. “I don’t know what happened. The whole Konica Minolta Acura team just executing at a track where we need to get everything right. They just nailed it.

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

POINTS: Standings after Mid-Ohio

“I think the great teams always find a way to win. We may not have been the fastest in qualifying, and I think that goes to show how strong our team is that we find a way no matter what.”

Starting at the start when Albuquerque got the jump on pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais, the No. 10 and No. 01 traded the lead four times. Bourdais bumped his way past Albuquerque back into the lead on Lap 10, but Taylor led 51 of the final 56 laps as van der Zande faded to fifth.

“I think Seb did a fantastic job putting it in the lead,” van der Zande said. “When I got in I struggled with the tires on the restart. I tried to keep the position in first but lost control of the car by a little touch. It’s tough to keep a fast car behind when dealing with low grip. It’s a shame. I think we had a good shot at winning with a good car and a good strategy.”

Bourdais and van der Zande led a race-high 61 of 121 laps.

It was the 47th career win for Wayne Taylor Racing and its second at Mid-Ohio, where Acuras have won five consecutive. Taylor earned his fourth Mid-Ohio victory and 29th of his career, and Albuquerque scored his 10th career win and second at Mid-Ohio.

The No. 10 moved into the points lead with the victory as the No. 60 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing took second, and the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express rounded out the podium.

A rundown of winners in other categories:


LMP2

A day after racing in the IndyCar race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Juan Pablo Montoya scored his first victory in the No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 for Dragonspeed with co-driver Henrik Hedman.

Montoya rebounded to take the lead after serving a drive-through penalty for an earlier pass into first.

” I saw an opportunity and went for it,” Montoya told NBC Sports’ Brian Till after his seventh career IMSA win (second at Mid-Ohio).

LMP3

The No. 54 Ligier JS P320 earned CORE Autosport’s first victory of the season and 43rd in IMSA. It was the first victory at Mid-Ohio for co-drivers Jon Bennett (19th career win) and Colin Braun (21st career win).

GTD

The No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley was awarded the class victory after a postrace inspection failure.

The No. 70 McLaren 720S GT3 of inception racing was ruled underweight after taking the checkered flag for the first time in its sixth IMSA start. Co-drivers Brendan Iribe and Jordan Pepper also were on the verge of their first IMSA wins as the team stretched its final fuel stint for 56 laps.


STATS PACKAGE FOR IMSA LEXUS GRAND PRIX AT MID-OHIO:

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

Drive Time

Best sector times

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will head to the Detroit Grand Prix for a 100-minute sprint at 3 p.m. ET on June 4 with coverage on USA and Peacock.

Rolex 24 at Hour 8: Acuras, Cadillacs look strong in GTP; tough times for Tower in LMP2

Rolex 24 at Daytona
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The premier hybrid prototype era of the Rolex 24 at Daytona began with a relatively smooth start Saturday through the Hour 8 mark.

Though two of the new Grand Touring Prototype cars fell out of contention within the first six hours, seven cars representing four big-money manufacturers were setting the pace (albeit conservatively at times) after eight of 24 hours in the endurance race classic.

The Cadillacs of Alex Lynn (No. 02, Chip Ganassi Racing) and Jack Aitken (No. 31 of Action Express) held the top two spots with a third of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship completed.

RUNNING ORDER: Standings through eight hours l By class

Brendon Hartley was running third in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, followed by Nick Tandy in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963, Renger van der Zande in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac and Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura.

The No. 24 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 ’s No. 24  was the first GTP car a lap down, but in better shape than its sister. The No. 25 BMW pulled off track for major repairs near the end of the first hour and was classified 133 laps down in 59th in 61 cars.

Misfortune also befell the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport, which was forced into the garage for a battery change with 18 hours and five minutes remaining. The 963 was 19 laps down in 22nd.

But all things considered, the debut of the GTPs had belied the hand-wringing and doomsayer predictions that had hung over Daytona the past two weeks. Cadillac Racing’s three V-LMDh cars had avoided mechanical problems (needing only typical body repairs for the front end of the No. 01 and rear end of the No. 31 for minor collisions in heavy traffic throughout the 61-car field).

Its stiffest competition seemed to be the Acura ARX-06s, which led more than 100 laps in the first eight hours.

Pole-sitter Tom Blomqvist built a sizeable lead in the No. 60 (which won last year’s Rolex 24) while leading the first 60 laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course.

“That was my longest time in the car since we got it,” said Blomqvist, who led the car to the IMSA premier championship last season. “We’re driving it into the unknown now. We’ve done everything we can. We know it’s a strong, fast car, but there are so many things to learn it almost feels like we’re winging it. It’s a constant learning curve, for both me as a driver but for the whole team. We’ve had a good start to the race, but there’s a lot of race to go and anything can happen.”

The No. 60 lost positions when Helio Castroneves spun just short of seven hours remaining but later soldiered back into the lead with Blomqvist.

“That was a wild ride,” Castroneves said. “I just got caught up in the moment and I’m not sure what happened. It locked the rear so unexpectedly. Certainly, the car is fast. There’s a lot of traffic. It was very, very difficult. The Acura has good pace so far, and we are learning a lot in a short time.”

Two days after predicting the race would be an “old-school endurance race” with conservative driving and setups, Simon Pagenaud said his forecast has been realized.

“Totally,” the Meyer Shank Racing said after completing his first turn behind the wheel of the No. 60 shortly before Castroneves’ incident. “It’s been rare that I’ve been saving equipment this much here. In any of my experience in sports car racing, I’ve rarely driven this cool, basically trying to protect everything. It’s what we’ve got to do. And we’ve got the advantage having pace with the Acura.

“So for us, this time of the race, we’ve just got to build the foundation of our race. There’s really no need to dive into the Bus Stop on somebody right now. Six hours to go is a whole different story. If we’re there, there’s no problem. We’ll do it. We have the capacity to do that, which is honestly such a luxury. But at this point to me, we’re just going to save the equipment, get there and see where we are because the car is extremely fast.”

Pagenaud was involved in one when he was warned by IMSA stewards for “incident responsibility” on a spin involving the No. 8 Tower Motorsports LMP2 that is being co-driven by Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin (two of the 10 active IndyCar drivers in the 2023 Rolex 24).

Tower driver-owner John Farano was in the car at the time, but Pagenaud joked he thought it was Newgarden, his former IndyCar teammate at Team Penske.

“I thought the Tower car, that must be Newgarden,” Pagenaud cracked. “Was it him? Don’t tell me. I know it was him. Doesn’t matter. Let me just take it. I’m going to say it’s him. Please tell him I said that when you see him.

The 2019 Indy 500 winner and 2016 IndyCar champion chalked up the run-in with Farano as “a misunderstanding. He hesitated passing the car ahead of him and gave me the left side, so I dove in on the outside, and he basically released the brake and hit my rear. So you could say it’s on me. You could say it’s on him. Honestly, I was confused as to what happened because I just saw him spin in the mirror. I don’t think we had contact.”

It already was a long day for the No. 8 Tower, which had to pull off the track on the first lap. A water bottle fitting leaked onto the ORECA LMP2 07’s electronic control unit, which malfunctioned. The team lost 10 laps while being towed to the pits and repaired as the first yellow flag flew less than five minutes into the race for the incident.

By the time Newgarden handed off the car to McLaughlin, the No. 8 still was nine laps down with eight hours to go.

Last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona LMP2 winner, which also featured two IndyCar stars in Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward, rallied from five laps down, but Newgarden lamented missing three opportunities to regain a lap under yellow.

“We’re trying to chip away at it; it’s just difficult,” the two-time IndyCar champion said. “I feel solid, and it’s very fun to be in the mix the first time. Very special to be out there in the action. Just wish we were on the lead lap. Our pace was solid. We were strongest on track, but that’s going to change in the later hours with the hot shoes in the car. It’s not going to be easy to pull laps back on this field. It’s a very stacked contingent. They’re all good teams, lot of good drivers. Put ourselves in a hole not a good situation to be in, keep fighting at it. Felt like our pace was good.

“It’s not looking good now. You get toward the end of race, you won’t gain laps back on pace. There are too many good teams and drivers. … We need 8 or 9 yellows to go our way. It just doesn’t look good. But never say never. What if all the GTPs just blow up? I don’t know what’s going to happen. They look really good right now. This is not what everyone predicted. Let’s see. You just never know in racing.”