- Meyer Shank Racing duo of Colin Braun and Tom Blomqvist claim their second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of 2023
- Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor bring Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura home secon
- Brake issue blunts Gradient Racing run in GTD
Playing their energy management strategy to perfection, Meyer Shank Racing led an Acura 1-2 sweep of today's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport finishing second for Acura.
In GTD, Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk appeared headed for their second consecutive top-five result – and third of the season – in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, until a late-race brake issue dropped the pair to an unrepresentative 11th-place finish.
Acura ARX-06 GTP
In the premier GTP division for hybrid prototypes, Blomqvist and Braun had their #60 MSR Acura ARX-06 at the front of the field for the majority of the two-hour, 40-minute contest, despite a flurry of incidents and late-race caution flags turned the race into a contest of pit stop strategies.
Stretching their final run for an impressive 78 minutes, MSR held on for the victory; with the sister WTRAndretti Acura of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque coming home second.
The victory is the second of the season for Acura, both 1-2 results, with the previous win coming at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. In scoring their first overall win today at CTMP, the Meyer Shank organization became the first GTP team to win multiple WeatherTech Championship races in 2023 in the new hybrid prototype era.
Today's victory moves Braun and Blomqvist to sixth in the championship after six of nine races; while Albuquerque and Taylor are third in the standings, just 29 points out of first.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 GTD
In the production-based GTD category, Gradient Racing saw their chance for a podium finish evaporate when Katherine Legge was forced to make an unscheduled late-race pit stop to repair a left-rear brake caliper.
Prior to issue, Sheena Monk had made up seven positions during her opening stint, pitting from seventh in GTD; while Legge took advantage of the team's off-sequence pit strategy to take over the class lead with just over an hour remaining. Despite losing seven laps to complete the brake repair, Legge resumed to garner an 11th-place finish for the team, which enabled the pair to move up to sixth in the GTD championship standings after six of 11 rounds.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Acura Race Results
- 1st GTP - #60 Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun; Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
- 2nd GTP - #10 Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor; Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06
- 11th GTD - #66 Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk; Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
Colin Braun (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06): Race winner with co-driver Tom Blomqvist: "It was tough. The other guys were good on fuel, so for me it was just about getting a good restart and building a gap and then going into fuel save mode. I was surprised with the great pace the Acura had on the fuel save. Then, once we got through the traffic, I knew I could probably pull a gap and we did. I'm just super proud of everyone here with Meyer Shank Racing, Acura, and HPD. Everyone did a great job. You know, obviously, we've been close [to another victory]. We've had good pace all year. So, great is it converted to a win and we definitely had to work for it this week."
Filipe Albuquerque (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06) finished second with co-driver Ricky Taylor: "What a crazy race!" We started really well with Ricky [Taylor] putting pressure and pulling a big gap on everybody. Then I got in the car and was actually feeling good, just saving the tires and controlling the position. At one point with the strategy, the safety car went out when we just pitted. So, it's like ‘perfect' and by then we thought it's going to be an easy win. But then it was so chaotic with so many yellows. It turned out that the Meyer Shank car got to the end. It's so hard to pass around here and whoever was in front were going to pull away. We're happy with P2 today. It's a start, we've been having a rough season with amazing pace. Congrats to HPD for the pace and the car we had today. So, let's continue with this momentum."
Katherine Legge (#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) 11th in GTD with co-driver Sheena Monk: "It looked like we had a very promising race going for us. I think we had the car for a top-five finish, at the very least, but then we had the long stop to repair a brake caliper. It's unfortunate. At least we were able to return to the race once the problem was fixed and salvage a finish and some championship points. All our thoughts right now are with [team owner] Andris Laivins as he deals with a serious illness in his family."
Lee Niffenegger (principal engineer, Honda Performance Development) on today's Acura 1-2 result at CTMP: "Today turned into a race with two possible strategies, but we had both options covered [with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor with Andretti Autosport], and it turned into a fantastic 1-2 for Acura and HPD. We're really proud of both our teams and everyone at HPD today. We fought back after some less-than-desirable results recently, and now we're in the thick of the championship with three [GTP] races to go. It's ‘Game on!'"
- This is the seventh prototype victory for Acura Motorsports at CTMP, in both IMSA and American Le Mans Series championship competition.
- Acura's first win at what was then called Mosport Park came in 2008, when David Brabham and Scott Sharp took their Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-01b to the LMP2 class victory.
The GT classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO and GTD, travel to Connecticut's Lime Rock Park for the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Presented by Liqui Moly, July 20-22. The full IMSA field next runs August 4-6 for the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
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