Wayne Taylor Racing wins record-tying 3rd consecutive Rolex

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Filipe Albuquerque, of Portugal, drives the Acura DPi to Victory Lane as teammates Alexander Rossi, left, Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves, and team owner Wayne Taylor celebrate after winning the Rolex 24 hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Wayne Taylor Racing won its record-tying third consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona, using a new car and a new lineup to beat some of the best racers in the world.

Filipe Albuquerque held off Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande — both part of WTR's winning teams the last two seasons and both seeking to become the first winners of three consecutive Rolex races — to give the overhauled Taylor team its fourth win in the last five years at Daytona International Speedway.

Albuquerque was challenged over the final 25 minutes by van der Zande, driving a Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing, until a punctured tire sent van der Zande to the pits with seven minutes remaining.

Kobayashi cycled into second but didn't have enough to catch Albuquerque, who closed out the first overall Rolex victory for Acura in the prestigious twice-round-the-clock endurance race.

Wayne Taylor left General Motors after 28 years at the end of last season to become a factory Acura program. He brought his oldest son, Ricky, back to the team for the refresh and they celebrated the overall victory as youngest son, Jordan, earned a class victory Sunday with Corvette Racing.

“Today is probably one of the best days I've ever had,” Wayne Taylor said, equating it to the 2017 WTR victory when both sons drove for him. "We won it with Ricky, and Jordan won the GT class with Corvette, and then the Wayne Taylor Racing program won it overall.

“As a family, it was a very, very special day.”

Wayne Taylor took ownership of his new cars — used Acura's handed down when Roger Penske closed his team at the end of last season — in November and needed every day during the offseason to prepare for Daytona. He replaced his entire lineup with newcomer Albuquerque and Acura holdovers Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi.