With the former leader settling for fourth, Wayne Taylor Racing will take a championship lead into Petit Le Mans.
Wayne Taylor Racing entered today’s IMSA race at Road America trailing their fellow Acura factory team Meyer Shank Racing by the equivalent of just a few positions in the 2022 DPi championship hunt. That continued throughout a rainy first two stints, but, when the track dried, the race heated up. A few laps after a late restart, WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque made a pass on the inside of MSR’s Oliver Jarvis while blocking the No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac of Earl Bamber to both hold his spot over Bamber and take third from Jarvis. It was a warning shot, proof that WTR was going to fight for the title with everything it had.
When the two found themselves clear of two other Cadillacs and fighting for the race lead 20 minutes later, Albuquerque passed Jarvis again in turn 1. Jarvis spent the next ten minutes attached to Albuquerque’s bumper, battling closely enough through traffic that Bamber caught the Acura duo fighting for a championship again. With eight minutes to go, Albuquerque got a particularly good run through a cluster of traffic and left Jarvis fighting Bamber through a fast section of the track. Jarvis made an attempt to block Bamber’s run through the kink, holding his position at the cost of his racing line. It left him in a bad position for the fast corner that followed, and that led to a championship contender’s worst-case scenario: Albuquerque went off to the outside of the corner, then spun sideways and hit the inside wall head on.
A nasty crash for Oliver Jarvis in the Kink. 😳 #IMSA // @RoadAmerica pic.twitter.com/UI2NP9xsER
— Motorsports on NBC (@MotorsportsNBC) August 7, 2022
Incredibly, Albuquerque and the No. 60 MSR Acura drove away from Road America’s worst-case crash like nothing happened. With just eight minutes left, the race finished under caution and Albuquerque was able to finish fourth with a heavily damaged car. The damage was done already, though. Wayne Taylor Racing won the race and will take the championship lead into the season-ending Petit Le Mans in October.
In GTD Pro, the No. 14 Lexus won from pole thanks to a strong drive by closing driver Ben Barnicoat. The No. 9 Pfaff Porsche and No. 3 Corvette completed the class podium. Damage to the floor of the No. 12 pro-am GTD Lexus kept the team from a two-class sweep, but that car finished third in a class won by the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes. Era Motorsport’s No. 18 car won in LMP2, while the No. 74 Riley Motorsports entry took another victory in LMP3.
IMSA’s GT3-based GTD classes will race at Virginia International Raceway later this month. The prototype classes will have to wait nearly two months, almost as long as the upcoming offseason, to race again at Petit Le Mans in October. That race will decide all five series championships.