Podium Finish for Acura at Watkins Glen

  • Meyer Shank Racing brings their Acura ARX-06 home third at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen
  • Mechanical issues end race early for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport
  • Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 collects fifth-place result in GTD

It was a third-place finish for Acura in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, with Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun finishing on the podium, after challenging for the win, today at Watkins Glen International. In GTD, the trio of Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk and Marc Miller finished fifth after an equally hard-fought contest for class honors in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo22.

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 three separate times, as all four competing manufacturers led portions of the endurance contest.

Following the last round of scheduled pit stops, Blomqvist emerged in fourth place, but any final efforts at securing the second victory of the season for Acura and Meyer Shank Racing ended when the caution flag flew with less than five minutes remaining for a GTD crash. 

The race ended behind the safety car, with the #60 taking the checkers in fourth place. However, the winning Penske Motorsport entry was found to have a non-compliant skid block in post-race technical inspection, moving the team to ninth and last in GTP; and the #60 MSR Acura to third in the official results.

After starting third, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 was forced to make an early, unscheduled pit stop to replace a left front tire while starting driver Louis Deletraz was still at the wheel.  Just past the two-hour, 30-minute mark, a loose wheel forced second driver Filipe Albuquerque to slow, and then pit as the wheel came off prior to pitting.  Finally, closing driver Ricky Taylor’s recovery attempts came to a close due to a brake issue and the car was retired with 40 minutes remaining.

Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production-based GTD category, Gradient Racing steadily made up positions both on track and in the pit lane to net a fifth-place finish after starting 16th.  Drivers Sheena Monk, Marc Miller and Katherine Legge each made up positions during their stints in the #66 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22; and the Gradient pit crew was flawless at every stop, frequently gaining additional positions.

The #93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 also consistently gained ground throughout the day, with drivers Danny Formal, Ashton Harrison and Kyle Marcelli netting an eighth-place result after starting 19th.

Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen Acura Race Results

  • 3rd GTP - #60 Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun; Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
  • 6th GTP [not running-mechanical] - #10 Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and Louis Deletraz; Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06
  • 5th GTD -  #66 Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk and Marc Miller; Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
  • 8th GTD - #93 Danny Formal, Ashton Harrison and Kyle Marcelli; Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti Acura NSX GT3 Evo22

Colin Braun (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06): third in GTP: “In the end, fourth was a good result for us.  We needed a good, solid finish and I’m really proud of everyone at MSR, Acura and HPD.  I think everyone did a great job.  We had good race pace.  Everyone is working hard and I’m proud of everyone’s efforts over the entire week. This [six hour] is not an easy race. It’s definitely tough on the crew and the drivers and strategy-wise.  Man, there’s so many ways you can build out this race. I feel we were in contention and in position to battle at the front. If we keep it up things will swing our way."

Filipe Albuquerque (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06) sixth in GTP (did not finish-mechanical): “Ahh, what a shame. With all the little issues we had, I don’t think it was our day. What is annoying for us is the car was very fast, I mean, really, really fast. But first we had an issue with a wheel that came loose, and that was strange.  Normally, when a wheel comes loose, it does it just after you leave the pits, but this time it was after two-thirds of a stint. And it came loose at the worse possible time, just as approached pit entrance.  I tried to go into the pits, but nearly lost it and had to do a long slow lap. The Ricky [Taylor] tried to recover, and we had brake issues.  In fairness, it’s the first time we’ve had a problem like this in a race.  We knew we would have [mechanical issues in a race] at some point, but it’s just a shame to have happened when we were so fast.”

Katherine Legge (#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) fifth in GTD: “It’s hard to be disappointed when everyone did an impeccable job, both on the track and in the pits. Honestly, the Gradient guys and girls were completely faultless. Every pit stop was spot-on, and both Sheena [Monk] and Marc [Miller] were fantastic on track.  Unfortunately, as it got hotter [late in the race], we didn’t have too much left to go fight [the competition], but fight them we did.  And we brought it home in fifth, which is something we can really build on going forward into the second half of the season.”

Kyle Marcelli (#93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) eighth in GTD: “Overall, not a bad day, starting 19th and ending eighth, so I think we need to be happy with that. The Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti team did a great job today on the strategy side. We had one hiccup in pit lane but we were served a drive thru penalty which kind of put us on the back foot. But Ashton [Harrison] did a great job in her double stint to move the car forward; her pace was fantastic. I struggled today in the heat. I did about a stint and a half and that was my biggest challenge. I wish I could have delivered a little more pace, I was too concentrated on just not making mistakes. Then Danny [Formal] did a great job to finish. I know he really wanted to finish the race, and his pace was good. He sounded fresh on the radio at the end, so that was the right call. Good job overall by everyone today and we’re happy with eighth.” 

Fast Facts

  • Acura is a three-time series champion in the premier prototype division since joining the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2018, claiming the Manufacturer, Driver and Team Daytona Prototype International (DPi) titles in 2019-20 and again in 2022 with the Acura ARX-05.
  • New for 2023, the Acura ARX-06 is the first hybrid-powered racing car designed, developed and built by HPD, the North American racing arm for both Honda and Acura, in partnership with chassis supplier ORECA [ORganisation Exploitation Competition Automobiles].

The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next heads north of the border to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, outside Toronto, for the CTMP Grand Prix on Sunday, July 9. The race will be broadcast live on NBC, and streamed on NBC Peacock.

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