With bent steering and running on minimal fuel, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 team clutched onto a late lead to take victory in a dramatic, thunderstorm-delayed Six Hour enduro at Watkins Glen International (WGI) this afternoon. The win, secured by a flying final stint by Portuguese ace Filipe Albuquerque, and a blistering middle stint by co-driver Ricky Taylor, was the team’s first WGI victory since 2011. The triumph catapults them into the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship lead with a 17-point gap over Meyer Shank Racing.
Filipe Albuquerque started the six-hour endurance race from second position and took the lead on the run down to the Bus Stop on the first lap, taking control of the race and managing to stay clean throughout a caution filled stint. As leaders, they were forced with a difficult strategy decision after several early cautions. They elected to stay out when the entire DPi field pit during the third stoppage, putting them off-strategy compared to the rest of their competitors.
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 continued to run up front when Ricky Taylor took over the blue and black machine with three hours and thirty minutes to go. Taylor ran extremely fast stint during the race’s longest period of green racing, before Filipe entered the cockpit for the final stage of the race. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05’s biggest competitor was its sister car, the No. 60 Acura, who was able to overtake before an extended red flag due to inclement weather.
The red flag nullified the need for an extra pit stop, and the final restart brought about a true sprint to the finish with 19 minutes to go at the green. Albuquerque quickly took over the lead again with a move that mirrored the opening lap of the race, but this time he was even more aggressive, squeezing the No. 60 to the inside on the entry to the Bus Stop. Albuquerque picked up damage, grazing the wall while trying to pass GTD traffic, but was undeterred. The battle continued with the sister Acura until the final corners of the race, and Filipe held on beautifully.
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05’s run of winning form continues with today’s win, as they’ve now finished on the top step for three of the last four events.
“It was a race we haven’t won in awhile.” said Wayne Taylor. “We were surprised at the speed of the Cadillacs. As usual, the team did an incredible job. The drivers are incredible. The tiniest little detail is what makes teams win and that’s what this team is about, detail to every little aspect. When a driver puts his helmet on, he makes his own decision, but you also have to tell him that we have a championship at stake and honestly the 60 cars had the race won if it hadn’t been for the red flag. They had a full tank of gas, and we had a half tank, and we didn’t know that they were going to stop the clock. That meant that were going to have to drive while saving fuel. Filipe did an awesome job, both at the start and at the end. Both Ricky and Filipe together are unbelievable teammates. The way they work together, there’s not ego between the two of them. Thank you to our sponsors, HPD, Acura, Konica Minolta and Harrison Contracting Company, CIT and just everyone who supports us.”
“It’s an amazing feeling to win this race again for Wayne Taylor Racing,” commented Ricky Taylor. “It’s been 11 years for them and it’s Acura’s first win. Selfishly, to have a teammate like Filipe who you have total belief in when he goes out and you know he’s going to fight. Everybody on the team believes what he’s going to do. If there’s the slightest chance of a victory, he’s going to make it happen and we couldn’t be prouder to have him in the car at the end. He’s 100% the man for the job.”
“Today was an unbelievable day,” exclaimed Filipe Albuquerque.” From the beginning going to P1 and then fighting the entire way there. Ricky was putting in amazing laps and recovery when we had a different strategy. The rain and red flag were kind of chaotic, but it played in our favor. We only had one shot to go to the lead which we managed to do that and save fuel and then somehow, we won. Don’t ask me how and that’s magical.”
The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season continues next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario for one of the final sprint races of the year. Practice 1 begins on Friday, July 1st at 2:40 p.m. ET. Green flag for the two hour and 40-minute sprint race will wave at 3:05 p.m. ET. Full coverage will be available on NBC and Peacock beginning at 3:00 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.