Having eluded the team for 16 years, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 team won at Road America for the first time and retook the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship lead in dramatic fashion. The team now has a 19-point lead in hand over its sister car and season-long rival, the No. 60 MSR Acura DPi. Next up, the series heads to MOTUL Petit Le Mans, the season finale and final endurance race of the year.
Filipe Albuquerque started the race from pole position after yesterday’s impressive qualifying run. He built a one-second gap over the first few laps and maintained it as rain began to sprinkle and track conditions steadily worsened.
Ricky Taylor assumed his position behind the wheel under yellow with two hours remaining. As the clock ticked below the two-hour mark, unpredictable weather began to define the day. Initially expected to pass quickly, the rain intensified over the course of the caution period and Taylor fell two positions at the restart. He did well to manage a challenging situation, navigating a wet circuit on slick tires before he pitted for wets 20 minutes later. Another 20 minutes passed, and the entire field dove back down pit lane for slicks once more.
In the ensuing pit stop, the team opted to put Filipe Albuquerque back in the car, and he emerged in fourth place. Albuquerque made an electric move into Turn 1 shortly after, taking third place away from the No. 10 Konica Minolta team’s championship rivals.
The No. 60 Acura jumped the No. 10 in the pits during the final round of stops, and another long yellow set up a 35-minute sprint to the finish. Albuquerque, free to push to the maximum, made a brilliant move out of Turn 7 with two wheels on the grass to get by the No. 60 again. This time, the pass was for the lead, and with 23 minutes to go, Filipe never looked back.
With eight minutes remaining, an unfortunate incident amongst traffic for the trailing car ensured the victory for Albuquerque and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05. The race finished under caution, setting up a thrilling finale come October.
“My job was to survive the conditions during my stint today,” said Ricky Taylor. “We were looking on for an Acura 1-2 towards the end which would have been great and the strategy seemed strong. It’s the first win for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 at Road America. Finally, crew member Bill Mullen got a win after 36 years of coming here, so congratulations to him. On top of everything, that feels the best—Bill Mullen got his win. I can’t say enough about Filipe’s drive.”
“What a crazy race,” said Filipe Albuquerque. “We started in first place and we led the first stint, and then the drizzle came. Ricky had a really tough time with a slick track and new, cold, slick tires. He did a hell of a job keeping the car on the track. We were almost last and were nearly lapped by the guys that took a gamble on rain tires, which was the right choice. At that point, our championship was completely over, but the beauty of IMSA and endurance racing is exactly this: it can shuffle unpredictably. I went back in the car even though I would’ve trusted Ricky to go to the end. I had driven in qualifying, so I was confident, and it was dry again. We pushed again—maximum attack—dragging the championship fight to the last race. It came off perfectly for us. Another win, our fourth of the season is just brilliant. We set the goal to win. So far, so good.”
“I’m extremely happy,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “We came in behind in the championship and now lead the championship heading into the final round. It’s still going to be a race. 19 points is not enough to clinch it. To have four wins makes it a great year. Everybody has done a great job. Filipe was outstanding today and both he and Ricky are so selfless. I’ve never seen two teammates that close. Now, I can relax again.”
The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season concludes in seven weeks’ time with the 2022 MOTUL Petit Le Mans. Practice 1 begins on Friday, September 29th at 9:50 a.m. ET. Green flag for the ten-hour championship finale will wave at 12:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 1st. Partial television coverage airs on NBC starting at 12:00 p.m. ET, with second-half coverage airing on the USA Network from 7:00 p.m. ET onwards. Full coverage is available to stream on Peacock beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET.
ABOUT KONICA MINOLTA Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is reshaping and revolutionizing the Workplace of the Future. The company guides and supports its clients’ digital transformation through its expansive office technology portfolio, including IT Services (All Covered), intelligent information management, managed print services and industrial and commercial print solutions. Konica Minolta has been included on CRN’s MSP 500 list nine times and The World Technology Awards recently named the company a finalist in the IT Software category. Konica Minolta has been recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys for fourteen consecutive years, and received Keypoint Intelligence’s BLI 2021 A3 Line of The Year Award and BLI 2021-2023 Most Color Consistent A3 Brand Award for its bizhub i-Series. Konica Minolta, Inc. has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for nine consecutive years and has spent four years on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. Konica Minolta partners with its clients to give shape to ideas and works to bring value to our society. For more information, please visit us online and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 effort and Wayne Taylor Racing is supported by an outstanding lineup of partners including Harrison Contracting, Acura Motorsports, Hammer Nutrition and CIT.