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Will Acura’s chaotic Detroit win show a turning level in IMSA title battle?

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Ricky Taylor believes Acura stays within the IMSA SportsCar Championship title hunt after he and team-mate Filipe Albuquerque ended their win drought last time out on the streets of Detroit.

Taylor and Albuquerque’s Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 has risen to sixth in factors, 239 off the main Porsche of Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr – which has been high of the pile since successful the season-opening Daytona 24 Hours.

They head into this weekend’s six-hour race at Watkins Glen eager to take care of momentum, and Taylor reckons his late-race cross on Porsche’s Mathieu Jaminet to seize victory in Detroit could be a turning level.

“It was a tough begin to the 12 months, and it was good to show it round at Detroit,” stated Taylor.

“Traditionally, our group has been a powerful starter, and kinda holds on to the end, so there’s no motive why we are able to’t make up what we’ve misplaced till Detroit. If we’ve misplaced that a lot, hopefully we are able to acquire it again.

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“There are nonetheless loads of vehicles on the high of the charts, and distinctive to this season these vehicles are fairly shut. However there are nonetheless fairly just a few races to go – with loads of [stormy] climate anticipated this weekend, so so much can nonetheless occur.

“I feel like in 2020 [when he won the title in a Penske-run Acura DPi with Helio Castroneves], going out and successful loads of races is all we are able to do.”

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

Picture by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

Taylor revealed that post-race investigation by his group confirmed that its Detroit victory shouldn’t have occurred: “The ironic factor was that on our evaluation of Detroit, we had been truly the slowest automobile – so the slowest automobile ended up successful the race!

“I feel that confirmed simply how wild it was, and the way a lot chaos that race produced.”

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Taylor boasts 25 wins spanning 10 years in IMSA’s high class however the shedding streak since Highway America in 2022 has been certainly one of his longest profession droughts.

“There’s so much we are able to acquire,” he added. “Popping out of a drought of not successful, I feel we had been kinda attempting to drive it somewhat bit, after not successful for therefore lengthy.

“I feel that provides to the strain and compounds it. Then you definitely begin to suppose nothing can go proper.

“Now we’ve obtained that win, the strain is kinda off now – and we are able to let issues come to us extra naturally now. We are able to do what we do, and hopefully our outcomes will communicate for themselves.

“The group has been actually robust, particularly with our two vehicles working very well collectively, there’s been loads of alternatives for good outcomes that simply didn’t materialise for us.

“If the chance is there, I feel we are able to make somewhat cost right here. We positively nonetheless have our sights set on the championship, despite the fact that it’s a giant factors unfold. We’re coming off a excessive, and hopefully we are able to carry that momentum.”

#10: Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz

#10: Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz

Picture by: Artwork Fleischmann

One curveball forward of the Six Hours of The Glen is a climate forecast that guarantees a heady mixture of heatwave and thunderstorms at certainly one of America’s best highway programs. A 56-car entry for the four-class endurance occasion will pack Watkins Glen’s 3.4-mile format, making it an enormous problem to beat.

“The humorous factor in regards to the rain we’re anticipating is that three of our 4 drivers haven’t pushed the automobile within the rain but,” admitted Taylor.

“So Louis [Deletraz, who shares the sister #40 car with Ricky’s brother Jordan Taylor] is the one one who’s pushed this automobile within the moist. He certified on pole for Petit final 12 months, within the damp, and it didn’t look unhealthy.

“The fellows getting back from Le Mans are able to go along with loads of contemporary rain expertise!

“Appears like rain virtually each single session this weekend, so all of us need to drive as a lot as potential to get a really feel for it – I’ll definitely be placing my hand up.”

Watkins Glen is a monitor that the group has focused improved efficiency and has examined lately at a circuit that’s had some vital adjustments by way of contemporary kerbs being added on the Bus Cease since final 12 months’s occasion.

“The primary part is OK for us, however the huge kerb [at the left-hand elements] is off limits for us,” Taylor defined.

#10: Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, podium, celebration

#10: Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, podium, celebration

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt

“There’s a little bit of a candy spot behind the ‘scorching canine’ the place if you may get your entrance wheel in the fitting spot. It’s kinda easy, however the probabilities of lacking that, it’s fairly a giant consequence for us.

“I’ll be fascinating to see how the totally different vehicles deal with it, and we’re positively going to work on our automobile to see if we are able to get it to be extra compliant over these. However I don’t suppose all of [the kerb] goes to be useable.”

Taylor is hoping that the monitor will play to the ORECA-based Acura’s energy of dealing with the low ride-height required, which Porsche fell foul of final 12 months when its successful automobile was disqualified for extreme plank put on – handing victory to BMW.

“One standout of the Acura is that it’s actually environment friendly, you may run it actually low, and Watkins Glen is such a easy monitor,” he added.

“It’s additionally one of many higher-energy tracks that we go to, so we’re utilizing the exhausting tire, which will likely be exhausting to warm-up as standard. It’s going to be within the 90[F]s when it’s dry, so I feel that caters to us somewhat bit.

“Although Acura has received two races this 12 months, the motivation is actually excessive that we nonetheless want to enhance.

“Watkins isn’t traditionally a very good monitor for us, we had some reliability points final 12 months, however we had been actually fast.”

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