IMSA Swings North, Gottsacker Looks to Return to Winning Ways at Mid-Ohioadmin
Mid-Ohio Dreamin’: Taylor Hagler, the current TCR points leader in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge scored her first IMSA pole position and had a phenomenal drive to her first podium finish (2nd) at Mid-Ohio in 2020.
“I’ve had countless dreams about my return to Mid-Ohio after such a strong weekend last year, and I’ve been running laps in my head for the last 8 months,” said Hagler. “Coming back as the points leader and in the Veloster with Michael (Lewis, co-driver) is the perfect scenario to finish one step higher on the podium for the win!”
Lewis and Hagler finished fourth in the season opener at Daytona and followed that with their first podium, when they finished third at Sebring in March.
The WINS: BHA and Hyundai scored their very first IMSA victory at Mid-Ohio two years ago. Since then, they’ve tallied 10 more for 11 wins since 2019, for a 52% win rate.
The POINTS Picture: Heading into the third race of the 2021 IMPC Championship, there are five Hyundai’s in the top-ten. The #77 Hyundai Veloster N TCR driven by Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis lead the way by 20 points over Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson who are tied for second in the #54 Veloster N TCR. AJ Muss and Mason Filippi are ranked sixth in the #51 Veloster N TCR while Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins are seventh in the all-new Elantra N TCR. Van Der Steur Racing’s Dennis DuPont and Rory Van Der Steur round out the top ten in the #19 Veloster N TCR.
Unstoppable: IndyCar star Robert Wickens completed a track day with BHA last week at Mid-Ohio, driving the #54 Veloster N TCR. It was Wickens’ first time back in a race car since his horrific accident in August of 2018. Throughout his grueling recovery, Wickens vowed to race again, despite his spinal cord injury which has limited the use of his legs. BHA driver Michael Johnson, who is also paralyzed from a racing incident offered Wickens the opportunity to drive the #54 Veloster N TCR which is outfitted with hand controls. Wickens ran 64 laps at Mid-Ohio last Tuesday, he wasted no time getting up to pace with the system. The track day was celebrated worldwide with fan and media coverage celebrating Wickens return, and will be featured in the Mid-Ohio race broadcast this weekend.
|#33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
Drivers: Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker
|Best Start: 8th Best Finish: 7th Rank: 6th
· Mark Wilkins scored Hyundai’s first IMSA victory at Mid-Ohio in 2019 with then co-driver Michael Lewis.
Harry Gottsacker: “I can’t wait to get back in to the swing of things over real race weekend after a month or two of iRacing! Kuddos to IMSA for keeping us busy and fresh with the iRacing championship. We had a tough weekend at Mid-O last year, but Mark and I are coming back strong for our first podium of the year in the new Elantra N TCR.”
Mark Wilkins: “Harry and I will be going for the win this weekend with the Elantra N TCR. Weather could always be a factor at we are prepared for that from our test last week. David Brown and all of the Engineers have continued to work hard developing our new race car despite the long breaks in competition, I am excited to see where we stack up at Mid-Ohio.”