Acura Team Penske Nabs Podium Finish at Long Beach Grand Prix
Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor finish second in car #7, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron bringing #6 Acura home third.
An intense battle among the leaders in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race saw the Acura Team Penske duo of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves finish second at the Bubba burger Sports Car Grand Prix, with teammates Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya rounding out the victory podium in third.
The 100-minute contest, the first of two temporary-street-circuit sprint races on the 2019 IMSA calendar, was part of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. With their second-place result, Taylor and Castroneves solidified their hold on second place in the championship, just two points out of first place after three of 10 races.
Castroneves, starting from the pole in the #7 Acura ARX-05 prototype, led the first eight laps, until inadvertently activating his pit lane speed limiter while exiting the final, hairpin turn onto the front straight. Recovering in third place, Castroneves handed over the driving duties to Taylor just before the 40-minute mark.
Taking only two tires at his final pit stop, with just over 20 minutes remaining, Taylor battled with the Action Express Cadillac of Filipe Albuquerque for the remainder of the contest. He made several bids for the lead, usually at the end of the long “Shoreline Drive” front straight, but was unable to complete a pass for position.
Slower GT traffic during the final two laps ensured the win for Albuquerque, but the second-place finish for Taylor and Castroneves places them within two points of series leaders Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani (92-90), who could only combine for a sixth-place finish.
Montoya started third in the #6 Acura and, after some initial contact while fighting for position, settled into fourth for the remainder of his run. Taking two left-side tires in his final pit stop, Cameron closed on both teammate Taylor and Albuquerque in the closing laps, but encountered the same lapped traffic as the leaders and accepted a third-place finish.