Acura Nearly Snags Win at Road Atlanta

October 21, 2020

Acura's winning streak in the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship ended at three on Oct. 17 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, as contact resulted in second- and third-place finishes for the Acura Team Penske prototypes. 

Hoping to continue the three-race victory streak that started at Road America in August, the #7 Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves (and endurance driver Alexander Rossi) fell short in the closing minutes of the 10-hour event, as Taylor made contact with Action Express driver Pipo Derani while battling for the lead, and both cars spun.

Wayne Taylor Racing driver Renger van der Zande, running third when Taylor and Derani collided, then moved into the lead, and his victory was assured when another crash involving a GTLM-class competitor resulted in the race ending under the caution flag.

In his first race at Road Atlanta, Rossi had chased down the Felipe Nasr (Derani's teammate) in the next-to-last stint. After the driver change, Rossi got caught in traffic exiting pit lane and Nasr stretched his lead to nearly 10 seconds. Now into the night hours, he quickly ran down and passed the leader with less than two hours left in the race. 

Post-race emotions ran high as Taylor and Derani had words near pit lane. Rossi praised his teammates on social media later that evening. 

Starting from the pole following a lap-record qualifying run by Dane Cameron, the #6 Acura ARX-05 led from the green, with teammate Ricky Taylor slotting his #7 ARX-05 into second.  Cameron and co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud. continued to lead the field at the one, two, three hour marks; and led again as the race neared its halfway point at five hours.

Just minutes before the five-hour mark, the #8 Tower Motorsports by Starworks LMP2 class prototype lost control while avoiding a collision involving the Mazda prototype of Tristan Nunez and the GTD Ferrari of Alessandro Balzan, and made contact with Cameron's Acura. Although the Acura Team Penske crew quickly replaced the damaged nose on the #6 ARX-05, it was unable to match its previous pace, but still recovered for a third-place finish behind their teammates.


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