Track: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Race: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
Date: September 9, 2018
No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya
Overall Finish: 3rd
Class Finish: 3rd
Laps Completed: 103/103
Laps Led: 40
Points Position: 4th (-21)
- Dane Cameron qualified the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 Prototype in the second position in Saturday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at the historic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
- Despite a multi-car incident on the first lap that put the field under the yellow flag, Cameron was able to quickly maneuver past the No. 10 of Jordan Taylor to take over the lead. He would hold the top spot for the next 40 laps.
- On the 41st lap of the race, Cameron made his way down pit road for four tires, fuel and to relinquish the driving duties to Juan Pablo Montoya, who was making his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start at Laguna Seca.
- When the pit stops cycled through, Montoya found himself running in the third position after a fierce battle with the No. 31 of Felipe Nasr that saw Montoya briefly run off course.
- The old, abrasive surface of Laguna Seca took its toll on the rear tires of the No. 6 Acura Prototype as Montoya had to deal with the same forward-drive issues as his teammate, but the veteran stayed at the front of the field.
- With the 45 minutes remaining, Montoya made the team’s final pit stop of the day. When he returned to the track he and Acura Team Penske teammate, Ricky Taylor, raced hard with one another to try and pick up another win for the first-year team. Unfortunately, with the lack of power to the other teams, based on the Balance of Performance, Montoya could muster only a third-place finish on the day.
- With the result, the No. 6 team moves up to fourth in the series standings, 21 points behind the leaders..
"It was nice to lead some laps in the first stint there, but we got jumped a bit in the [pit stop] cycle, and kind of struggled a little bit there towards the end. But it is what it is; we just didn’t have quite enough today to get the win. We’ll take today’s podium and go on to Petit Le Mans [season finale], where we’ll have one more shot to get a win for the ‘Six Bunch.’"
No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor
Overall Finish: 15th
Class Finish: 10th
Laps Completed: 99/103
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 7th (-37)
- Helio Castroneves – the track record qualifying lap holder at Laguna Seca – qualified the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 Prototype in the third position for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, continuing the streak of top-five starts in every IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race this season for the team.
- Like his teammate, Dane Cameron, Castroneves also moved around the pole winner, Jordan Taylor, on this initial lap prior to the yellow flag being displayed for a multi-car incident. He would remain just behind Cameron until lap 30 when the No. 55 of Jonathan Bomarito made his way past.
- Castroneves radioed that he was happy with the handling of his Acura, particularly in the high-speed corners, but the car lacked turn in the low-speed corners.
- At the one hour and 11-minute mark, Castroneves made his way to pit road for service and to turn the wheel over to Ricky Taylor, owner of four top-five finishes at Laguna Seca.
- Taylor, using his sports car experience to his advantage, kept the No. 7 Acura at the front of the field with aggressive driving necessary as the team was down on power to the field based on the Balance of Performance tables. Taylor raced hard with the No. 54 of Colin Braun and his Team Penske teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, over the waning laps of the event to stay near the front.
- With just a handful of minutes remaining in the race, Taylor made contact with a slower GTLM car that resulted in broken suspension that force that team to retire from the race.
- With the 10th-place class finish Castroneves and Taylor remain seventh in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype standings, 37 points back of the leaders.
"It was an up-and-down day for the No. 7 Acura Prototype. Helio did a great job on the start. He kept up a great pace while fighting rear grip late in his stint. We are down a little bit of power to the field so that makes it tough to play offense or defense, all while trying to save fuel. So, you have to fight for everything out there and that’s what we did today. I just made a mistake late in the race when trying to pass the GTLM cars and it broke some suspension pieces. I feel terrible, but I know we will go to Petit Le Mans and try to finish this first season off the right way, with a win."