Bryan Herta Autosport Set to Defend IMSA Title
Three-time IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) Champions, Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) with Curb Agajanian and Hyundai Motor North America, will return to IMPC competition in 2022. Hyundai and BHA also announced their expanded six-car, Touring Car Racing (TCR), driver line-up today.
“The competition continues to rise in TCR and having our entire 2021 line-up return, while welcoming four new drivers shows we are not taking defending the championship title lightly,” said Bryan Herta, president, Bryan Herta Autosport. “Thanks to the men and women of BHA who worked so hard through the holidays and a short off season to make sure we are ready to start 2022 stronger than ever.”
Reigning champions Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis will return as teammates to defend their title. The pair made their debut as teammates in 2021. Their history-making season saw Hagler become the first woman ever to win the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge title and Lewis the first two-time TCR Champion. New for 2022, Hagler and Lewis will co-drive the #1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR.
Ryan Norman, the 2020 IMPC TCR Champion, returns to BHA for his third season. For 2022, Norman will co-drive the #2 Elantra N TCR with AJ Muss of Rumson, NJ. Muss enters his second full season racing a Hyundai and his first in partnership with BHA. Muss represented the United States in the 2018 winter Olympics and is in the qualifying process for the 2022 games in Beijing.
Canada’s Mark Wilkins, the 2019 co-champion, returns for his fifth season racing a Hyundai with BHA. Wilkins and his to-be-announced teammate will co-drive the #32 Elantra N TCR. Wilkins’ run of success racing for BHA includes eight victories and one championship title.
TCR race winners Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson return to co-drive the #54 Universal Coating Elantra N TCR. Johnson, who is paralyzed and races using hand controls, and his long-time teammate Stephen Simpson joined the Hyundai squad in 2021. They opened the 2021 season with a podium finish at Daytona. Their third-place finish was the first time Hyundai was represented on the podium at the famed Daytona International Speedway. Johnson and Simpson went on to run inside the top ten all season and collected another podium at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) before finishing sixth in the series standings.
Mason Filippi returns to the BHA squad in 2022; it will be his fourth season of IMPC racing in TCR with Hyundai. Having finished second in the championship in 2019 and 2020, Filippi will vie for the title in 2022 alongside Tyler Maxson, racing the #77 Elantra N TCR. Maxson is just 17 years old and already a two-time sports car champion. Maxson became the youngest champion ever in the SRO series when he won the TC America championship in 2019 at just 15 years old. Maxson then dominated the SRO TCR Championship as a rookie in 2020, winning 12 races in the Hyundai Veloster N TCR. Maxson competed in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge full-time in 2021 and has finished on the podium three times since joining the series.
Texans Harry Gottsacker and Parker Chase will team-up to co-drive the #98 Elantra N TCR. Gottsacker and Chase, both from Bulverde, Texas, started their sports car careers as teammates in 2016. Chase finished second in the IMPC championship in 2021, earning one victory and three podium finishes racing the Elantra N TCR. Gottsacker enters his fourth season representing Hyundai with BHA. In 2021, he tied the series record for pole positions and has finished inside the top five in the championship each season since joining BHA in 2019. Gottsacker was the championship runner-up twice in 2019 and 2020.
The 2022 season kicks off with the season opening test days, the “Roar Before the Rolex 24,” at Daytona International Speedway, Jan. 21-23, 2022. Round one of the 2022 IMPC season takes place the following weekend with the BMW Endurance Challenge, a four-hour race during the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race weekend on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022.
Taylor Hagler: 2021 was a dream season with Bryan Herta Autosport, and I am ready to build on our success in 2022! It means so much to carry the #1 on our car as the defending champion, and to be able to drive with Michael again this season. We have developed a great relationship and continuity is so important to building a strong team like the BHA organization. While I am going to miss our trusty Veloster N TCR, it is going to be great to make our first laps in the Hyundai Elantra N TCR at Daytona. I kept an eye on our teammates all season last year to see how the car progressed and the car looks great and is fast. It will be nice to build on all of the work that the team has done with the Elantra N TCR and see if we can repeat as champions in 2022 against some great competition.”
Michael Lewis: “We’re back with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai in 2022! It is such a pleasure to race for this team and represent such an awesome and dedicated manufacturer in Hyundai. I am super excited to be back with Taylor Hagler in the #1 Elantra N TCR race car as well! BHA secured the #1 plate for us to use for this season, it’s the first time the #1 has been run in TCR. We had such an amazing season last year and the #1 plate represents all of those good times and all of the hard work that we did to earn the championship. It’s my first time running the #1 plate in any series or category! It’s pretty special. Taylor and I will work hard each race and test to maximize our potential to compete for another championship.”