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IMSA Indianapolis

Taylor ready to “take risks” in IMSA GTP title showdown races

Ricky Taylor and co-driver Filipe Albuquerque have found themselves in somewhat of a paradox as the GTP point leaders with two rounds remaining of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

The previous two years, the Acura duo have been a force in IMSA’s top class, scoring three wins in 2021 and following up with four victories in 2022.

In both cases, however, it ended with the same runner-up result in the overall standings at year’s end. This season, they have yet to put the #10 Acura ARX-06 in Victory Lane and only have three trips to the podium, but their consistency, perhaps overshadowed by other teams’ miscues, have vaulted them to the top entering this weekend’s penultimate round at the Indianapolis Road Course.

“Yeah, everybody can say this, but there's definitely three or four races where we had the fastest car and it's a cliche, but the fastest car doesn't always win,” Taylor said. “We've proven that through mistakes and through some inconsistency with our things that we've done on track.

“But the overall consistency of the team by putting ourselves in reasonable positions has put us in the lead in the championship somehow. Everybody's had their misfortune this year and the championship now is basically reset.”

#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

The wheelmen for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport hold a 14-point lead over Cadillac’s Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims, with a 73-point advantage of BMW’s Nick Yelloly and Connor De Phillippi. And with 350 points awarded to the race winner, along with another 35 given to the pole-sitter, the title race is on the razor’s edge.

It remains tight down to seventh in the standings, where the Penske pair of Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell reside trailing by 141 points.

“It's seven cars within striking distance of the championship still and only two races to go,” Taylor said. “I think the difference maker for us to win a race will be just on execution.

“At this point in the year, there are some teams that are willing to take more risks. Mosport, for example, Shank gambled massively on yellows, and they got the yellows. Without that we were the leader on our strategy, and so they were willing to take more risk than everybody else was willing to take.

“I think we're just going to do our thing and manage our race the best that we can and put forth as much risk as we can at this point in the championship. If we don't win a race this year and we win the championship, I think we'll be pretty happy because the last two seasons we won like four or five races a year and didn't win the championship.

“So, I think that's the one thing we need to check off.”

#35 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07: Rodrigo Sales, Giedo van der Garde, #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

#35 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07: Rodrigo Sales, Giedo van der Garde, #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Taylor went a step further to note that trusting everyone’s inconsistency isn’t the path to be handed the championship.

“I think you have to put it in your own hands at one point. In our minds, we're treating it like just a reset,” he said. “Everybody's even, let's just go attack the last two races and take risks.

“That's how we normally race, and just see how it plays out because if you leave it up to everybody else, they're too strong and you can't rely on mistakes.”

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