As the ultimate 30 minutes of the race approached, Albuquerque was battling for victory within the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06, along with his sights firmly set on passing the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 of Mathieu Jaminet for the lead.
The 2 vehicles got here to blows exiting Flip 1 after Jaminet moved to the left to keep away from GTD visitors, sending Albuquerque’s automobile off-track and skating throughout the grass uncontrolled till rejoining on the Flip three left-hander, the place he clattered into the aspect of the Porsche.
The opposite Porsche of Felipe Nasr was unable to keep away from the chaos forward within the darkness and hit the Acura, earlier than launching off Jaminet’s automobile and touchdown just some metres forward on the run-off.
All three vehicles had been eradicated from the race right away, handing the #31 Motion Categorical Racing Cadillac a surprise victory in the second race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s GTP period.
Albuquerque admitted that he was pissed off to lose a possible victory with a late-race incident, however insisted he didn’t need to accept second place.
“What a tragic ending,” stated the 37-year-old. “Sadly, within the final pitstop, the Porsche managed to cross us. It was form of loopy that every one my laps had been within the lead and the final 20 minutes, I used to be behind someone, which was bizarre.
“I feel we had a bit of little bit of an edge on them, however staying behind it was tremendous laborious to observe, so it wanted to be accomplished in visitors.
“The visitors got here and I noticed a gap, tight, however I noticed it. I feel he [Jaminet] moved, however I have to see the replay once more as a result of I don’t need to place blame on anyone.
“I feel I used to be there after which there was contact with the 2 of us, and the second contact threw me fully within the grass and I couldn’t cease the automobile then I used to be a bowling ball, simply knocking vehicles down.
“It was fairly brutal the place I acquired hit as soon as after which someone hit me. I simply felt like I used to be getting thrown from one aspect to a different, however these vehicles are secure and I’m good, that’s what’s most essential.
“It’s unhappy to not get the win once we had such a robust automobile and for the WTR-Andretti staff, they put a number of power into this. I’m not a man to complete P2, I give it my all and I’d do the identical once more.”
#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet, Dane Cameron
Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
Jaminet was apologetic for the incident which got here amid the marque’s strongest displaying with its LMDh racer but after a irritating debut at Daytona in January and an underwhelming efficiency within the opening spherical of the World Endurance Championship on the similar Sebring venue on Friday.
Nevertheless, he additionally felt it was a “big stroke of unhealthy luck” that the #5 Porsche additionally acquired caught out within the melee and retired by means of no fault of its personal, permitting Cadillac to return by means of and snatch an unlikely win.
“I want to apologise to your entire Porsche motorsport household and the Porsche Penske Motorsport staff for the accident,” stated Jaminet.
“Within the shut finale on the pitch-black Sebring monitor, sadly such incidents can occur typically.
“I needed to go all-out and make the most of a small hole – sadly, that resulted in an enormous accident.
“My team-mate Felipe had nothing to do with it however he was thrown out of the race, too. It was simply an enormous stroke of unhealthy luck. And so, an ideal race had a horrible finish.
“Nonetheless, I’d wish to deal with the positives: The staff did a incredible job, the automobile was very robust within the race.”