- Wayne Taylor Racing finishes fourth at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
- Meyer Shank Racing loses pace in final hours with damage after being pushed off course
- Contact, damage also delay both Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 teams
SEBRING, Fla. (March 19, 2022) – Acura teams all faced problems during today’s 70th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with the four efforts having to surmount various issues during the second round of the 2022 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, held at the historic central Florida airport circuit.
In the featured DPi division, Meyer Shank Racing led significant portions during the middle portions of the 12-hour endurance race, until contact from the #31 of Pipo Derani sent the MSR Acura of Tom Blomqvist off course, damaging the floor of the ARX-05 prototype when it struck the exit curbing as it sailed off course. After the incident, the MSR Acura, co-driven by Oliver Jarvis and Stoffel Vandoorne was unable to maintain its previous pace, dropping to fifth in the final laps when it was passed by the sister WTR Acura.
The Wayne Taylor Racing trio of Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and Will Stevens also led through the middle hours, but a pit exit infraction and resulting penalty sent them down the DPi order, and a late-race recovery charge with Taylor at the wheel was only able to net the team a fourth-place finish.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production-based GT categories, Racers Edge led the way for Acura, making the team's IMSA debut with the NSX GT3 Evo22 in GTD PRO. Drivers Ashton Harrison-Henry, Kyle Marcelli and Tom Long gained positions steadily through the first six hours, running as high as sixth, until contact from the #16 Porsche resulted in a spin for Harrison-Henry. However, the team quickly made repairs to the Acura and persevered to cross the line 8th in GTD PRO.
Gradient Racing's #66 NSX GT3 Evo22 looked strong at the start of the race, with driver Till Bechtolsheimer advancing from 9th on the grid to sixth in GTD, then handed over to co-driver Kyffin Simpson. Simpson maintained Bechtolsheimer's pace, running as high as fourth before tapping the wall in turn 17, requiring the car to be sent behind the wall for repairs. Simpson, Bechtolsheimer and co-driver Mario Farnbacher would return to the race and finish 11th in GTD.
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Race Results
- 4th overall - #10 Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and Will Stevens, Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
- 5th overall - #60 Tom Blomqvist, , Oliver Jarvis and Stoffel Vandoorne, Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
- 8th GTD PRO - #93 Ashton Harrison-Henry, Tom Long and Kyle Marcelli, Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
- 11th GTD - #44 Till Bechtolsheimer, Mario Farnbacher and Kyffin Simpson, Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
Oliver Jarvis (#60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05) Finished fifth: “We knew the competition was going to be quick here, but you never stop believing that you can get a result. And there were times we were at the front, but I think that was more through our strategy – just doing everything right. I think the ultimate pace just wasn't there. And that's been the same for the last two or three years here in Sebring. It's nothing unique to this particular weekend.”
Filipe Albuquerque (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-05) Finished fourth: “Today we had ups and downs. We lead the race, but a penalty threw us a bit off. But then again, we were relaxed because there is always a yellow towards the end of the race. Yet, today was the record for the least amount of yellows at Sebring, and it was insane to go five hours without a yellow. That killed our chance to get back in the game, but the team did a great job. It is what it is, but we’ll keep fighting for the rest of the championship.”
Ashton Harrison-Henry (#93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) HPD Academy graduate, finished eighth in GTD PRO: “I’m super excited to have finished the Sebring 12 hours, my debut IMSA race. As you can imagine, this is a very challenging race. Conditions are changing constantly, and it was super hot and humid. I’m so thankful for Racers Edge and all the hard work these guys put in this week. It was anything by easy, HPD has been super great with their support, too. For us to have the pace we had for a one-off race is pretty incredible, and I’m looking forward to potentially during more [IMSA races].”
Kyffin Simpson (#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) HPD Academy graduate, finished 11th in GTD: “What a race! It felt longer than Daytona. We were unfortunate not to grab 10th at the end. Mario [Farnbacher, co-driver] was flying, and I think everyone at Gradient can be proud of the pace we showed today. We’ve taken a big step forward in understanding our car. I learned a lot this weekend. Hopefully we can have a clean run next time out at Watkins.”
Daniel Bella (Supervisor, Trackside Operations, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring: “Unfortunately, the results didn’t really reflect the effort made by everyone at HPD and our teams. We may not have had quite the pace we needed for a victory, but podium finishes were possible for both of our Acura ARX-05 teams prior to their separate issues. In GTD, Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR made an impressive IMSA debut in GTD PRO until being hit by another car, and the Gradient Racing NSX was very fast early in the race before their own issues. We’ll regroup and go on to Long Beach. It’s a long season and we’re still in the early stages.”
After opening the season with a pair of long-distance endurance contests, the 2022 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now moves to Southern California for one two sprint races on a temporary street circuit: the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, on Saturday, April 9.