Filipe Albuquerque

6h of Watkins Glen

🇺🇸

25 – 27 June

Watkins Glen International

IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship

Wayne Taylor Racing

3rd Place

Watkins Glen is always a hot, fast and demanding track. The spirits were high because we tested the car there, it’s a track that suits our car, very fast, very aerodynamic, without bumps like other tracks. We were naturally optimistic for this race and the next one.

The weekend started well, we took the pole position and showed our progress but we knew the race would not be easy and that a lot could happen in six hours.

We started first but the pace of each car changes during the race. There are also different team strategies and some setups are designed for the race and not for qualifying, everything could change. We were just waiting to see the real pace of the Cadillacs and Mazda during  the race. At an early stage of the race, we were surprised by the other Acura who was really fast. We started having difficulties with our setup, the car started to slip on the front, but in these situations, during the race, there’s not much to do because we have more to lose than to win if we’re going to analyze and try to change something in the car. We had to finish the race like that.

Ricky started and did a great job, followed by Rossi who also did well and finally it was me. We were constantly in the fight in the first three places. The final part of the race was difficult for everyone because of yellow flags. The race was based on fuel management until the chequered flag, as it happened in Mid-Ohio. We were all more or less on the same strategy, I was third and quite honestly we had a good pace but not as good as Mazda and Acura who finished 1st and 2nd. I was happy with our  third place, one of those surprises that reminds us that nothing is taken for granted even if you took the pole position.

It’s the second consecutive podium after our third place in Detroit, and we got good points for the championship despite Mazda’s win. Our rivalry with Mazda is pretty chilled. I know Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell well because I’ve raced with both of them. Olly is a friend from my Audi era in DTM and LMP1 and Harry was my teammate at Jota, when we did ELMS together. We respect each other a lot.

Afterwards we went to analyze all the data and noticed that, in the middle of the race, we had a problem with the car which explained why we were a bit slower. For this reason, we were optimistic for next weekend’s race, knowing we had more in our pockets and more to show in the race.

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