- Wayne Taylor Racing's Ricky Taylor fights to the final turns, but comes up short in IMSA championship contest
- Acura secures Michelin Endurance Cup for long-distance events; Wayne Taylor Racing takes drivers' and teams' endurance titles
- Magnus with Archangel finishes sixth in GTD with their Acura NSX GT3 Evo
After 10 months of racing across the country, the battle for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship came down to the final three corners of today's 10-hour Petit Le Mans endurance race, when a passing attempt by Ricky Taylor in his Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 came up less than a half-second short; with Taylor finishing third to Felipe Nasr.
Taylor's last lap lunge on Nasr in Turn 10 of the 12-turn Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta originally appeared successful, but Taylor briefly ran off-course after executing the pass and Nasr was able to regain the advantage, securing the Manufacturers' and Drivers' championships for the Action Express duo of Nasr and co-driver Pipo Derani.
Earlier, the Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Dane Cameron, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya took control of the middle portion of today's season finale race. But damage from debris struck by Castroneves in the darkness with one hour remaining sent the #60 ARX-05 behind the wall for repairs, before returning to finish sixth.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo
In the production-based GTD category, the Magnus with Archangel trio of Andy Lally, John Potter and Spencer Pumpelly finished the season in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo on a strong note, successfully avoiding a mid-race restart crash that caught out several other GTD competitors, then running as high as third before finishing sixth.
Petit Le Mans Race Results
- 3rd - #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
Drivers Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi
- 6th - #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
Drivers Dane Cameron, Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya
- 6th GTD - Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Drivers Andy Lally, John Potter, Spencer Pumpelly
DPi Manufacturers' Championship
|Drivers' Championship (unofficial, after 10 of 10 rounds)|
|1. Cadillac 3,666||1. Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr 3,407|
|2. Acura 3,553||2. Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor 3,395|
|3. Mazda 3,421||3. Harry Tincknell, Oliver Jarvis 3,264|
Michelin Endurance Cup
|Drivers (unofficial, after 4 of 4 endurance races)|
|1. Cadillac 51||1. Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor, Alexander Rossi 46|
|2. Acura 47||2. Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito 40|
|3. Mazda 44||3. Dan Cameron 34|
David Salters (President and Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's race and the 2021 season: "Ten months of racing this season, and 10 hours of endurance racing tonight, and it all came down to the final 10 seconds. We're massively proud of all of our Acura Motorsports teams. We began the season with an historic win for Acura at the Rolex 24 at Daytona; and we finished it at the penultimate corner of the final race of the season here at Petit Le Mans. Thank you to our awesome teams, brilliant drivers and magnificent HPD associates."
Helio Castroneves (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05): Finished sixth with co-drivers Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya: "It's such a shame. The MSR AutoNation / SiriusXM Acura was doing well, I think we could have battled for the win. I was running the normal line on the back straightaway, but it was pitch black, you couldn't see anything. I ran over something and it destroyed the floor of the car: I lost all downforce and couldn't turn the car. We had to come to the garage and fix the floor. The team did an amazing job to fix it, and the car was back on rails. It's just very frustrating, we could have finished with a bang. But I have to thank Mike and the team for allowing me to come onboard this weekend and race, I definitely missed the Acura!"
Ricky Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-05) finished third with co-drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Alexander Rossi: "I mean, we're racing really hard. The championship literally came down to the last corner. After last year, I'm happy for those guys [Action Express]. They deserve it; they had a great year. I hate it for Filipe [Albuquerque]; he drove such a great stint to pass them. I made a little mistake on my out lap [exiting pit lane following his final stop]. But I'm so thankful to have HPD, Konica Minolta and Acura behind us. I will do everything I can to pay them back in California and at the shop in Indy. I'm really bummed, but Daytona is close. This is a short offseason, and we're a great team."
- In four seasons of Daytona Prototype Competition, Acura has won two overall IMSA Manufacturers' Championships; two Drivers' and Teams' Championships, and one sweep of the Michelin Endurance Cup titles for Manufacturers, Drivers and Teams.
- Acura will return in 2022 for a final season of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi competition before debuting in the new premier LMDh prototype category in 2023.
Today's race concluded the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Acura will return to contest the prototype and GTD titles in the 2022 season, which opens January 27-30 with the Rolex 24 at the famed Daytona International Speedway.
Acura Motorsports social media content and video links from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta's Petit Le Mans can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).