- Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport comes home fourth in the Motul Course de Monterey
- Meyer Shank Racing leads early, scores sixth-place finish
- Opening-lap contact for Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
It was a fourth-place finish for Acura at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque finishing just off the podium in their #10 WTRAndretti Acura ARX-06 GTP machine.
Acura ARX-06 GTP
It was a fraught race in the premier GTP division, with incidents, traffic and yellow flags impacting the entirety of the two-hour, 40-minute Motul Course de Monterey event, fourth round in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The #10 Acura ran as high as third during the event, following a fantastic pit stop by the team, but would cross the line in just fourth place.
After starting third, Meyer Shank Racing's Acura ARX-06 would find its way to the front of the field on lap one in the hands of starting driver Colin Braun, and would lead a total of 21 laps during the race. But Braun and co-driver Tom Blomqvist struggled with tire wear through the middle stint of the race and would cross the line in sixth place.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production-based GTD category, Gradient Racing's chance at a good result was unfortunately upset before they had a chance to move forward. Sheena Monk, starting P14 in the #66 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 was tapped into a spin and suffered rear suspension damage on lap one of the event. The team worked hard to repair the damage and pick up points as other cars dropped out, and the Monk and Katherine Legge duo would ultimately finish 13th.
Motul Course de Monterey Acura Race Results
- 4th GTP - #10 Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor; Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06
- 6th GTP - #60 Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun; Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
- 13th GTD - #66 Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk; Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
Filipe Albuquerque (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06) 4th in GTP: "What a crazy race! Up and down a lot. When I got in the car we were like P8, almost last. We recovered well, at one point we were P3 and I was really, really comfortable with the car that we had. I was catching everybody and I was like 'oh we're going!' So, I was super motivated because when you're going forward it's cool. But then in the last stint I think maybe behind the Porsche and the BMW my tire pressures went sky-high and I was just a passenger at that point. I couldn't really do anything about it, I was sliding all over the surface. We learned a lot again about the car and the setup. It's still a positive to finish P4, Ricky did an amazing start and a good job in qualifying. So, we keep going forward."
Colin Braun (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06): 6th in GTP: "It was a great start! I timed it well, got into second and hoped everyone else would lock up their tires, which they did and it worked out. I was really happy with that. There's so many complex strategies going on that it's hard to know exactly what's going on from the driver's seat. Our game plan was to have the strongest tires we could at the end, so I think we took a hit in the middle. It didn't pan out for us with how the yellows fell. We had good speed and the guys did great on pit lane. It just didn't play out how we needed it to, and we got what we got."
Sheena Monk (#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22) 13th in GTD: "It's unfortunate to walk away from a race like this when you had a car that you could be in a hunt with. It wasn't the best qualifying from me, so we knew we were starting on the back foot, but the lap one contact took us out of position to fight for anything. The Gradient Racing guys did a great job to put our JG Wentworth Acura NSX back together so we could go turn some laps and get some points. The car was strong even after the contact, so it's really a gut punch when you think about what could have been."
Kelvin Fu (Vice President, Honda Performance Development) on today's Motul Course de Monterey: "I think they call these days 'character building'. Our Acura ARX-06 teams were both fast and they ran great races, but things didn't fall our way in the end. I'm really proud of the work everyone at HPD, WTRAndretti and Meyer Shank Racing have put in throughout the year. But the competition in GTP is just so tight. The good news is we have a lot to learn from this, and we will come back stronger at Watkins Glen."
- The Acura ARX-06 is the first hybrid-powered racing car designed, developed and built by HPD, the North American racing arm for both Honda and Acura, in partnership with chassis supplier ORECA [ORganisation Exploitation Competition Automobiles].
- The Acura ARX-06 features a 2.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 internal combustion engine, mated to a hybrid systems consisting of a Bosch MGU and electronics providing energy stored in a battery pack developed by Williams Advanced Engineering. Power for the hybrid system is taken from the rear axle and brakes, and modulated by software specifically developed by HPD for the Acura ARX-06.
- The Acura Styling Studio worked directly with HPD's aerodynamicists and CFD aero engineers to develop the shape and maximize the aerodynamic performance envelope of the ARX-06, while incorporating current Acura production vehicle styling cues.
The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next travels cross country to the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York for the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, June 23-25.
Acura Motorsports social media content and video links can be found on:
- Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd)
- TikTok (www.tiktok.com/hondaracing_hpd)
- Twitter (www.twitter.com/HondaRacing_Hpd)
- Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD)
- YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV)
# # #