Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Albuquerque explains Acura’s Long Beach IMSA turnaround

Long Beach IMSA pole winner Filipe Albuquerque says hard work on Acura’s DPi weaknesses has led to its GTP car’s commanding pace advantage.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Albuquerque turned around a big deficit from last year’s Long Beach qualifying session to lead an Acura 1-2 on Friday, at a track that’s been historically dominated by Cadillac.

Last year Sebastien Bourdais took pole in his Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac with a 1m09.472s lap. The first Acura, the #60 Meyer Shank-run ARX-05, was half a second away, with Albuquerque’s Wayne Taylor-run version 1.1s off the pace.

But this time around Albuquerque took pole with a 1m09.909s lap which, although half a second slower than last year’s outright pace due to colder track conditions, was enough to take pole by 0.6s over the MSR ARX-06.

Bourdais's CGR machine was over a second off the pace – virtually flipping the respective pace of the cars.

“Coming to Long Beach, we were glad DPi ended because we needed a new start,” said Albuquerque, twice a Long Beach winner in the past in Cadillac machinery.

“And GTP is exactly that. We knew we were competitive at Daytona and Sebring, and now we know we are at Long Beach.

“It was definitely one of the first things we wrote on the paper – ‘why are we struggling in Long Beach? Why are we struggling in Sebring?’

“And we made those parts right and when you look at performances, and your weaknesses, all the work we did is paying off.

“I really wanted this pole position, and for sure the #60 did as well. To get it by half a second is pretty good.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

“I did not expect us to be so competitive compared to Cadillac especially, because getting the power down has been their strong point of their car. Obviously, they are struggling with something.”

On the Cadillac side, Bourdais admitted that the sessions on Friday were “a trying day for us”.

“I think the cool temperatures hurt us quite badly,” he said.

“I'm pretty happy with the qualifying results, all things considered, and I know we can go racing from there.”

How Acura placed emphasis on preparation

Albuquerque came into the Long Beach event well prepared after a mammoth stint in the Honda Performance Development simulator in Indianapolis earlier this week, which has a direct link to HPD’s remote mission control at its HQ in Santa Clarita in California.

“On Wednesday we did a straight eight hours in the simulator at Indy,” said Albuquerque. “Just getting everything covered, what we needed to do, and hard work pays off.

“It’s Acura’s home race, so there’s pressure to do well. Between HPD and Wayne Taylor Racing it’s going fantastically well and it’s all been smooth with this complicated car.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article IMSA Long Beach: Albuquerque takes stunning pole for Acura
Next article IMSA Long Beach: Porsche 963 takes first win as Taylor crashes

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe