Championship Leading Velosters Seek Laguna Seca Success at Hyundai’s Home Race
Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship: In line with their continued growth in North American Sports Car Racing, Hyundai is the title sponsor of this weekend’s IMSA race at the famed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The Hyundai brand has a long history of successful sports partnerships in the U.S. and beyond, including the NFL and the Super Bowl, NCAA Football, The PGA Tour, FIFA, World Archery and the International Cricket Council. This is Hyundai’s first time partnering with IMSA as an entitlement partner.
Hyundai Success: The Hyundai Velosters have dominated the 2020 season having won five of the eight races thus far. A Hyundai has finished on the podium in all but two races and has scored a total of nine podium finishes, in addition to their five victories. Hyundai has a 14-point lead over Audi in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
TIGHT 3-Way Battle: 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Team Champions, Bryan Herta Autosport head to the penultimate round leading the first three positions in the 2020 championship standings. However, the title is still up for grabs and the battle is on. Just eight points separate the championship points leaders: the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR driven by Michael Lewis and Mason Filippi leads over Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman in second, driving the #33. Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker in the #21 Veloster N TCR are just three points behind in third, with 219.
Team Chaves: Will GC2 become GC3? Congratulations are in order for Gabby Chaves and his wife Gabby, as they are expecting their first child in the coming weeks.
Team Avocado: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is the ‘home’ track for California residents Mason Filippi of San Francisco and Laguna Beach’s Michael Lewis. The #98 team refers to themselves as “Team Avocado” as their engineer, John Ward, and data acquisition engineer, Justin Jang, are also Californians. Michael, Mason, John, and Justin wear their lucky avocado socks on race day.
Full Circle: It was just two years ago, in the fall of 2018, when Mason Filippi made his debut with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Filippi co-drove with Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis in the #99 Hyundai i30N TCR at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Now, two years later, he returns as the IMPC Championship leader.
|#21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins
|Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st
Championship: 3rd (219) points)
· The 21 car has one victory and one pole position this season.
· Harry Gottsacker has one victory and one pole position at Laguna Seca.
· Mark Wilkins won the 2010 6-Hour ALMS race at Laguna Seca.
Harry Gottsacker: “I’m really looking forward to get back at it at the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca! We are still in the championship hunt and Mark Wilkins and I are really working with the team to make sure we have a great car for the last few races. This has been a race on the calendar where I have wanted to perform because we didn’t get the result we wanted last year. Being Hyundai’s race makes it that much more important!”
Mark Wilkins: “After an awesome stretch of road trips driving Hyundai’s to the races this season, it’s time to get back on a plane and head out west! I’ve been looking forward to the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championships weekend for a while! This promises to be a great weekend both on and off the track. We have our friends from Hyundai coming to cheer us on and I think with that support we have a great shot at capturing the manufacturer’s championship at their home race! With two races left this season it’s full speed ahead for a strong finish. Harry and I will be pushing hard to make up some ground in the points, as the drivers’ championship is still up for grabs!”