Ricky Taylor believes this weekend’s IMSA Fastlane Sportscar Weekend at Road America will be a “critical race” for the DPi championship, stating that it’s a “must win” scenario for he and co-driver Filipe Albuquerque to have a realistic chance of securing the title at Motul Petit Le Mans.
The Wayne Taylor Racing duo enter the penultimate DPi round of the season with a 35-point deficit to fellow Acura squad Meyer Shank Racing and drivers Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist.
The ultra-close title fight — equivalent to 3.5 points in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s old points system — will go down to the wire at the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in October, but Taylor is certain that Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute contest will play a significant factor in helping shape the outcome.
“This weekend is a critical race in the championship,” he said. “It’s a must win for us to get us in the fight for the championship.
“Road America is a fantastic track for the Acura, but we need to capitalize.
“The track is fast and can be a track where overtaking in traffic is quite opportunistic. It’s a track where people can make moves and make things happen. I expect it will be another epic fight for the win.”
While Taylor claimed victory at the four-mile Wisconsin circuit in 2020 with Acura Team Penske, Road America is the only track on the current WeatherTech Championship schedule that WTR has not won at.
“Last year we were unlucky with a puncture, but we were running well so we know the car can run well there,” said Albuquerque.
“We are in a situation where we need to finish ahead of our main rivals, the other Acura.
“So, our goal is very simple, to finish ahead of them and to obviously go for the win.
“It’s all about championship points with only two races to go, so we want to maximize that, plus Wayne Taylor Racing has never won at Road America, so we are looking to get our fourth win of the season there.
“We had a lot of ups and downs in the season, but we have three wins which is the most of any team this season. That shows that we can do the job.”
Despite the no. 10 Konica Minolta-sponsored Acura ARX-05 has scored three wins in the last five races, Jarvis and Blomqvist have been the measure of consistency, with five consecutive runner-up finishes.
It included the last two DPi rounds at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where the No. 60 Acura lost out on victory in the closing stages of each race.
“We’re coming down to the final stretch of the championship,” said Blomqvist. “Obviously we’re going into the weekend with a small lead and it’s super important for us to have a strong, clean weekend.
“I’m actually really looking forward to going to Road America, it’s one of my favorites, if not my favorite track on the calendar. I love driving there and I think in the DPi it’s going to be spectacular.
“The team have been working hard during this little break as usual. Hopefully we can continue our form and put ourselves in a good position going into the last round with a little buffer in the championship.
“We’re motivated, and super pumped, and I can’t wait.”
John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. ContactJohn