Double Podium for BHA in Canada, Wickens and Gottsacker Extend Points Leadadmin
Hyundai Motor America earned an IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge double podium with two Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) pairings, Robert Wickens and Harry Gottsacker as well as Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. After qualifying third for Saturday’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120, the No. 33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR with Canadian-native Wickens and co-driver Gottsacker found themselves in the lead of the TCR class by the halfway point in the two-hour race. However, having made their pitstop earlier than many other front-runners Wickens was forced to save fuel during his stint, allowing the second placed runner to catch up. The Canadian did his best to defend and only after contact on the penultimate lap was he passed. Wickens was forced into a second pitstop at the end of the lap, but still finished in second.
Fellow BHA teammates Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi gained two positions from qualifying to round out the podium at CTMP. With Saturday’s podium, Wickens and Gottsacker now lead the IMPC TCR class drivers’ championship standings, 20 points ahead of Wilkins and Filippi.
Luck wasn’t on the side of the reigning Champions, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis in Canada. The pair looked to have a promising day before a left-front flat tire issue sent the No. 1 Elantra N TCR laps down to finish eighth after an impressive repair by the crew.
Harry Gottsacker IV: “All iin all it was definitely a great weekend for the #33 Elantra N TCR team. It was definitely a bummer we didn’t get that top stop, Robert and I are trying hard to get our first win together, but we know it is coming and this is a points game. We leave the points leader with our third 2nd place finish of the year, that feels good.”
Robert Wickens: “Another p.2 for us and I can’t deny, this one stung. We led for over and hour and had to settle for second. I’m proud of our group for putting in a lot of hard work. We keep coming up a little short, but we are right there! Ours will come soon. Harry game me the car in great position again, so I couldn’t ask for more. We are going to try again at Lime Rock, but I like how the #33 Elantra N TCR is performing at the moment. It was great to see so many familiar faces and feel the support of the Canadians at CTMP!”