All Three BHA Elantra N TCR Entries Finish in the Top Five at VIRadmin
Hyundai Motor America earned two positions on the podium at the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix this weekend. The current IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) Drivers’ Championship leaders Robert Wickens and Harry Gottsacker captured a second-place result, their sixth podium finish this season followed by Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) teammates Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi in third. With the podium finish at the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix, the No. 33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR driver pairing of Wickens and Gottsacker continue to sit atop the TCR Drivers’ Championship standings by 50 points. The pair had to fight their way through the field in the early part of the race after starting at the back of the grid following a post-qualifying penalty, while both their BHA teammates – Michael Lewis in the No. 1 entry and Wilkins in the No. 98 led multiple laps early in the race.
As multiple Safety Car periods shuffled the running order, it was Wickens and Filippi who led the charge to catch the leaders in the second half of the race. However, when a final incident left the result to be decided by a single-lap sprint at end of the two-hour event, Wickens was unable to mount a final challenge for the win, though the points for second preserved his and Gottsacker’s championship lead. Seven Elantra N TCR cars competed at VIRginia International Raceway under the Hyundai banner and all seven entries earned a top-ten finish at the drop of the checkered flag.
The IMPC season continues with two events remaining on the calendar as the field next heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which will host as the series’ second four-hour endurance event on the schedule – the IMSA Battle on the Bricks on Saturday, September 16th.
· Top Finishing Hyundai: Second place for the No. 33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR driven Robert Wickens and Harry Gottsacker
· Top Qualifying Hyundai: Second place for the No. 1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR driven by Michael Lewis and Taylor Hagler
Harry Gottsacker IV: “The podium streak continues! It was a bit of a wild one starting in last, but I put my head down and was focused on getting as high as I could on track. We made some big passes and had a lot of close racing. The stops and driver change were great all day and the team is really working hard as we battle for the championship.”
Robert Wickens: “A great recovery by the whole #33 team after our setback in qualiyfing and being forced to start last. Harry’s opening stint was pretty special to watch and the team had great pitstops to get uns into podium contention by the time I jumped in. It was a full team effort and great execution by the whole BHA team. Our championship lead shrunk a bit, but the important thing is that we are still leading heading into IMS.”