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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Deletraz “completely deserved” full-time 2024 Acura drive in IMSA, says Albuquerque

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Deletraz will pair up with crew returnee Jordan Taylor subsequent season, as WTR with Andretti scales as much as two Acura ARX-06 LMDh vehicles in IMSA’s GTP class, after racing alongside Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor on the 4 IMSA endurance rounds this 12 months.

The Swiss notably certified on pole at Street Atlanta for the season-ending Petit Le Mans 10-hour race, though WTR missed out on the title following a conflict with the championship-winning Action Express Racing Cadillac.

Chatting with Autosport previous to the occasion, Albuquerque mentioned that Deletraz had justified his choice for a full-time seat primarily based on his performances relative to the crew’s common drivers regardless of comparatively restricted mileage.

“I’ve been by way of that state of affairs as effectively, I feel it’s so exhausting to show that you’re good,” mentioned Albuquerque, who was the third driver for AXR in 2016-17 earlier than going full-time with the squad for 2018.

“Since you do little or no testing and so they need right away so that you can be on the identical tempo as the principle guys.

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“You then do two races [at Daytona and Sebring] and then you definitely go away and also you solely present up [again] for Watkins Glen, you drive within the center or no matter and once more – not driving for 4 months – the crew expects you to do in addition to the principle guys.

“And for the final race of the 12 months, you should be on the extent of the principle guys which were doing all 12 months with the automotive that you just drove 3 times.

“That’s exhausting, and he’s been doing effectively, so [he] completely deserved the seat.”

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

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

Deletraz has gained two European Le Mans Sequence titles within the final three years with the ORECA-Gibson 07, contributed closely to John Farano securing the 2022 IMSA P2 title for Tower Motorsport and at the moment leads the World Endurance Championship’s P2 standings for WRT with one race to go.

However Albuquerque says the Acura’s foundation in an ORECA has no impact on Deletraz’s potential to rise up to hurry as the additional weight and added complexity ensuing from the hybrid system means “there’s nothing to do by now with LMP2 vehicles, it’s manner totally different”.

Chatting with Autosport, Deletraz mentioned he was relieved that his time within the “troublesome position” had concluded.

Explaining his expertise of being a 3rd driver, Deletraz mentioned: “I’m within the automotive possibly each three months for 4 races a 12 months, and also you simply come and it’s important to try to readapt to every little thing.

“The automotive has modified, the system has modified, and mainly you may very hardly ever win the race, you may principally lose it.

“So the strain is excessive, you should carry out and it’s in all probability going to resolve your future, so the position is hard.

“I’m glad that it went very effectively this 12 months, so I don’t assume I might be happier with it.”

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He added: “It’s nice that I made it by way of the exhausting 12 months of being an endurance driver and being confirmed as a full-time [driver].

“I’m very comfortable and excited to be with Jordan and being a two-car crew for Wayne Taylor Racing and Andretti who has been a one-car crew since eternally. It’s going to make us loads stronger and I actually look ahead to that.”

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