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Race report

IMSA Mid-Ohio: Wayne Taylor Racing Acura beats dominant Mazda

Wayne Taylor Racing strengthened its lead in the IMSA SportsCar Championship as Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor took their Acura ARX-5 to a narrow victory at Mid-Ohio.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Art Fleischmann

Acura, which has a dozen different manufacturing and R&D facilities in Ohio, has now won all four races since IMSA’s return to the parkland venue in 2018.

The WTR team prevailed by just 0.368s over the Action Express Cadillac DPi V.R of all-Brazilian pairing Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr, while Britons Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis had to settle for third place in their Mazda RT24-P despite qualifying on pole and dominating much of the two-hour-and-40-minute race.

After struggling for pace during practice on Friday, the Multimatic/Mazda team made wholesale setup changes – “we threw the kitchen sink at it,” said Multimatic’s Larry Holt – which transformed the handling and enabled Tincknell to establish a blistering new track record in qualifying on Saturday.

Albuquerque, on his very first visit to the technical and challenging 2.258-mile track, started second, less than a tenth of a second adrift of the pole time, but was soon left gasping in Tincknell’s wake on raceday.

The gap grew to over 12 seconds before the first round of pit stops with 40 minutes on the clock, after which Derani/Nasr emerged in second having been the first of the prototype contenders to make their first stop. Tincknell extended his lead even further before making his second stop at the halfway point in the race and handing over the car to Jarvis.

Unfortunately, the Mazda duo’s fine work was undone when the caution flags flew for the first and only time with about an hour remaining. The timing ensured that everyone would be working hard to minimise their fuel consumption when the green flags flew again with 45 minutes remaining.

Crucially, the Albuquerque/Taylor Acura had stretched its fuel load the furthest, so required a shorter fill than the Mazda and was able to leapfrog into second place behind Nasr, who took full advantage of having been called into the pits for service moments before the caution flags flew.

#55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell

#55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell

Photo by: Sam Cobb / Motorsport Images

It was Nasr who led at the restart, on a track which offers precious few overtaking opportunities, but Taylor dug deep and pulled off a brilliant and decisive pass immediately after the restart. Taylor then managed to conserve his fuel and squeak home just 0.368 sec ahead of Nasr. The Mazda also managed to stretch its fuel load to the finish line to maintain its streak of three podium finishes to begin the season.

Their second win of the young season allowed Daytona 24 Hours victors Taylor/Albuquerque to extend their points lead over Tincknell/Jarvis from five points to 55.

Gar Robinson earned a second LMP3 class win of the season for Riley Motorsports, joined on this occasion by Brazilian Felipe Fraga.

In GTD, Englishman Jack Hawksworth looked set to score a second successive Mid-Ohio triumph for himself and pole-winning teammate Aaron Telitz, only for their Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to suffer a suspension failure after 50 laps. Their misfortune allowed veteran Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley to take the spoils aboard their Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

Results

Cla Class Driver Chassis Laps Gap
1 DPi United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Acura DPi 122  
2 DPi Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
Cadillac DPi 122 0.368
3 DPi United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Mazda DPi 122 12.925
4 DPi France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
Cadillac DPi 122 26.719
5 DPi Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Cadillac DPi 122 33.115
6 DPi United States Dane Cameron
France Olivier Pla
Acura DPi 122 37.698
7 LMP3 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Ligier JS P320 115 7 Laps
8 LMP3 Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Dan Goldburg
Ligier JS P320 115 7 Laps
9 LMP3 United States Jim Cox
United States Dylan Murry
Ligier JS P320 115 7 Laps
10 LMP3 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
Ligier JS P320 115 7 Laps
11 LMP3 United States Lance Willsey
Portugal Joao Barbosa
Ligier JS P320 114 8 Laps
12 GTD United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
BMW M6 GT3 111 11 Laps
13 GTD United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Zach Veach
Lexus RC F GT3 111 11 Laps
14 GTD United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 111 11 Laps
15 GTD Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 111 11 Laps
16 GTD Jeff Kingsley
Germany Mario Farnbacher
Acura NSX GT3 111 11 Laps
17 GTD Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 GT3 R 111 11 Laps
18 GTD United States Richard Heistand
United States Jeff Westphal
Audi R8 LMS GT3 111 11 Laps
19 GTD United States Till Bechtolsheimer
United States Marc Miller
Acura NSX GT3 111 11 Laps
20 GTD United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
Acura NSX GT3 111 11 Laps
21 GTD Canada Daniel Morad
United States Michael de Quesada
Mercedes-AMG GT3 111 11 Laps
22 GTD United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Porsche 911 GT3 R 110 12 Laps
23 GTD United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
Porsche 911 GT3 R 107 15 Laps
24 LMP3 United States Jarett Andretti
United States Oliver Askew
Ligier JS P320 85 37 Laps
25 GTD United States Aaron Telitz
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
Lexus RC F GT3 77 45 Laps

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