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Portuguese sports activities automotive driver Filipe Albuquerque have to be questioning what he has accomplished to offend the officers of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship collection.

Albuquerque has been the common visitor driver for the No. 5 Motion Specific/Mustang Sampling Cadillac Prototype, flying to the U.S. to assist out common drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa on the longer IMSA endurance races.

On the 2017 season opener, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Albuquerque was main late within the race, and seemed to be en path to a victory when Ricky Taylor, driving the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, spun Albuquerque out with seven minutes to go. Taylor received, Albuquerque completed second, zero.671 seconds behind. Officers didn’t penalize Taylor.

Saturday night time, on the 2017 season finale, the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Street Atlanta, Albuquerque was main late within the race. On the ultimate restart, Albuquerque, who was main, made contact with teammate Dane Cameron, driving the No. 31 Motion Specific/Whelen Cadillac, who drove into the grass. IMSA officers determined it was Albuquerque’s fault, and referred to as him to the pits to serve what will need to have been an excruciating 60-second stop-and-go penalty. He ended up fifth.

Twice, in two of the most important sports activities automotive races of the season, Albuquerque was minutes away from the win — first by getting spun by one other automotive, which was not penalized, then when Albuquerque was penalized for what IMSA referred to as “unjustifiable threat.”

This isn’t to say Taylor ought to have been penalized at Daytona, or that Albuquerque shouldn’t have been penalized at Petit. Nevertheless it must be a bitter tablet to swallow for a really proficient, and customarily uncontroversial, driver.

IMSA assessed Pipo Derani, driver of the No. 22 Tequila Patron Nissan Prototype, a penalty that knocked him from the lead. Photograph by LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

Extra controversial, although, was the penalty IMSA assessed Pipo Derani, driver of the No. 22 Tequila Patron Nissan Prototype. With a giant lead and pulling away from his closest challengers, Derani tried to cross the slower No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT Le Mans automotive, when the 2 collided and Ford driver Ryan Briscoe, who has working third in his class, spun exhausting into the tire wall, bringing out the warning flag that arrange Albuquerque’s penalty on the restart.

IMSA gave Derani a drive-through penalty for inflicting the crash, a name that was significantly much less clear-cut than the Albuquerque incident. The penalty was additionally a lot much less extreme, however even having to drive by means of the pits when the opposite automobiles are racing at full track was painful, dropping Derani to fourth. Inarguably Derani is without doubt one of the cleanest drivers within the class, and it’s unlikely anybody might have caught him had the race gone inexperienced for the ultimate run to the checkered flag.

After 9 and a half hours of racing, the win was basically dictated within the ultimate 30 minutes by officers within the tower, not as soon as however twice. Justified or not, it was an unlucky strategy to finish what was in any other case a brutal, very aggressive race in all 4 courses. It’s fascinating to think about how that will be acquired by the followers had it occur in, say, a giant NASCAR race just like the Daytona 500.

And this isn’t to say the No. 2 Tequila Patron Nissan, workforce automotive to Derani’s, didn’t deserve the victory. The workforce of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and visitor driver Brendon Hartley fought exhausting, led a whole lot of laps, principally with the underrated Dalziel behind the wheel. Nobody can say they didn’t deserve the trophy.

Nobody however Albuquerque and Derani, perhaps. So shut.

By the way in which, Ricky Taylor and his brother Jordan received the season championship, regardless of ending 37th within the 39-car area, dropping out early with engine points.

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