Hagler Finishes Fifth At a Crowded Laguna Secaadmin
Taylor Hagler successfully navigated a crowded WeatherTech Raceway to finish fifth at the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship presented by Motul on Saturday.
Hagler and teammate Michael Lewis stayed consistent on the densely trafficked 2.238-mile track to avoid multiple slide offs and collisions during the two-hour competition. The Bryan Herta Autosport teammates were looking to make the most of the Hyundai-sponsored event, which marked the third round of the 2022 season.
The 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Championship duo fought through four full-course yellows to bring home the third top-five finish of the season for the No. 1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR. It was a busy day at the racetrack, with qualifying in the morning to set the grid as Hagler had qualified on the fourth row with a fast lap time of 1:34.164-seconds to net eighth on the grid.
Taking the green with a wary eye on the tight first turn, Hagler fought through some side to side contact within the first 15-minutes of the race, but didn’t let that affect her stint in the Hyundai.
“We had a lot of contact from start to finish with that stint, but there isn’t anything you can do about it, you just have to drive through it,” Hagler told the NBC broadcast. “We had a little bit of an alignment issue, but we can, as race car drivers, we have to just handle what we are given. But these Hyundais are built so well that we still had pace today. We had a lot of good battles out there. Michael is a beast, and he can deal with it.”
Lewis powered through the end of the race to secure the fifth place finish for the driver pair, the best position the Hyundai had achieved all weekend.
“It was a pretty intense fight to the finish but I’m happy that we were able to come home fifth after so many yellows and restarts,” said Hagler. “It was great to meet so many Hyundai owners this weekend and I’m looking forward to racing again in just two weeks at Mid-Ohio.”
The momentum of the big weekend for the Hyundai racing program will continue into a two-day on-track N Performance Academy. The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will host loyal N owners and give these dedicated drivers their own chance at experiencing the infamous Corkscrew.
Following the West coast trip for Round 3, Hagler will head back east to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where she finished second during her 2021 champion season, from May 13-15 for the fourth round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Championship.