The 26th running of the Motul Petit Le Mans saw Acura teams and drivers take the battle for the IMSA Manufacturers’, Drivers’ and Teams’ championships down to the final minutes of the 10-hour event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Meyer Shank Racing prevailed in a chaotic final hour to take a second consecutive victory for Acura and the team; with Acura finishing a close third in the Manufacturers’ Championship battle with three victories over the course of the nine-race season.
Acura ARX-06 Hybrid Prototype
The #60 Meyer Shank Racing and starting driver Tom Blomqvist lost time early in the contest when it was caught up in a multi-car nose-to-tail incident in traffic. Suspension repairs in pit lane cost the Acura two laps, but hard work from the team and co-drivers Colin Braun and Helio Castroneves saw the #60 back on the lead lap by half distance.
With just over an hour remaining, the #60 Acura was running in seventh place; but a strategic pit call by the MSR team and a series of ultra-quick laps from Braun moved the ARX-06 up to second. Following a caution in the final hour, Braun swept around leader Renger van der Zande on a restart to take the lead maintain that advantage to the checkers.
For the first nine hours of the 10-hour endurance contest, the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport ARX-06 of Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and Louis Deletraz was in contention for the victory, and the drivers’ and teams’ championships that would have accompanied a win. But contact with the #31 of Pipo Derani sent the Acura – with Albuquerque at the wheel – hard into the Turn 1 barrier. Albuquerque was transported to an area hospital for further examination.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production-based GTD category, a strong run for the #66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 of Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk and Marc Miller came to a halt with just over an hour remaining with a transmission issue after regularly running in the top eight.
The #93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti NSX suffered a long delay behind the pit wall to repair a steering issue, losing multiple laps in the process. But the driver lineup of Ashton Harrison, Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal pressed on regardless, and were rewarded for their efforts with a 14th-place finish along with the GTD fastest race lap of 1:20.248 for Marcelli.
Motul Petit Le Mans Acura Race Results
- 1st GTP – #60 Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun and Helio Castroneves; Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
- 9th GTP – #10 Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and Louis Deletraz; Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 [Did not finish – contact]
- 14th GTD – #93 Ashton Harrison, Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal; Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
- 15th GTD – #66 Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk and Marc Miller; Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 [Did not finish – mechanical]
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