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Autosport High 50 of 2023: #27 Filipe Albuquerque

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Filipe Albuquerque as soon as once more pulled double obligation throughout IMSA and the WEC with the WTR Andretti Acura LMDh and United Autosports LMP2 groups respectively. The Portuguese was a race winner in neither enviornment (although took a most factors rating behind a non-registered automobile in WEC), however as all the time was a constant performer throughout the 2 sequence.

Solely Tom Blomqvist within the successful Meyer Shank Racing Acura was faster than him on common at Daytona, with a automobile that was subsequently found to be illegal. Over in WEC, he was the quickest of the quickest over a double stint on a set of tyres aboard an ORECA-Gibson 07.

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How Albuquerque shone in LMP2’s WEC farewell

Was Filipe Albuquerque the quickest LMP2 driver within the WEC in 2023? Class tyre provider Goodyear thinks so. It has handed the Portuguese one thing it dubbed the Wingfoot award – named after the corporate brand –  for ending up prime of its personal, unofficial classification primarily based on the quickest common lap time throughout a double stint, or a triple at Le Mans, on one set of its tyres. 

Albuquerque took the award regardless of lacking two of the seven races whereas he was away on obligation with WTRAndretti in IMSA. He took most factors for the quickest double at Fuji in September and was within the prime three in all however one of many 5 races he contested with United. That has to say one thing about one of the vital constant performers in LMP2 for the reason that begin of the present method. 

Photograph by: Goodyear

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Goodyear believes Albuquerque was the quickest LMP2 driver in 2023

The ultimate Wingfoot classification was calculated on factors awarded for the highest 10 quickest doubles at every occasion, making Albuquerque’s victory all of the extra spectacular on condition that he might solely rating factors on 5 events. Solely inexperienced flag laps had been utilized in Goodyear’s calculations and solely stints had been the motive force accomplished 75% of a typical full-fuel run had been counted. So the Wingfoot classification wasn’t skewed by brief stints. 

What must be identified, nonetheless, is that not each stint in LMP2 is similar. Gas-saving has been an ultra-important a part of the sport in P2: avoidance of a late splash has so typically been the important thing to victory in school. So a driver pushing flat out would inevitably have a bonus by way of common lap time over one making an attempt to eke an additional lap out of his or her gasoline allocation. 

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It’s a little bit of enjoyable, however the Wingfoot award does supply an perception into simply who was quickest in a category the place the strategic variations make it troublesome for the informal observer to get a transparent image. For the report the opposite Wingfoot winners throughout the season had been Will Stevens (Jota), Ben Hanley (United), Robert Kubica (WRT) Paul-Loup Chatin (IDEC), Charles Milesi (Alpine/Signatech) and Albert Costa (Inter Europol). 

Albuquerque took the Wingfoot Award despite scoring points on only five occasions

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Albuquerque took the Wingfoot Award regardless of scoring factors on solely 5 events

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