IMSA Championship Focus for Taylor Hagler at Road Atlantaadmin
The season finale of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) will take place this Friday as Taylor Hagler travels to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Hagler will look to defend her 2021 championship title in the Fox Factory 120 (1:10 pm ET, Peacock).
Hagler and co-driver, fellow IMPC 2021 TCR Champion Micheal Lewis, will team up for the season finale in the No. 1 Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) Hyundai Elantra N TCR. The duo most recently won at VIRginia International Raceway last month, growing their points advantage with a remarkable sixth podium result in the nine races run thus far. Following the victory at VIR the pair enter the final round of the 2022 IMSA season with a 100-point advantage.
The Hagler – Lewis team started out the 2022 IMSA season strong with back-to-back second place finishes at both Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway. The duo went on to receive another pair of second place finishes at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
At the National Park of Speed, Road America, the No. 1 team made an impressive charge after battling up from eleventh to earn the final spot on the podium. With a shelf full of second and third-place trophies, the duo clinched their championship lead at VIR with a victory.
Last season Hagler rewrote history claiming the title of the first female IMPC TCR Champion as well as the second female IMSA champion in series history. Hagler and Lewis went into their first season finale together with a 230 point lead, with the No. 1 team only having to take the green flag in order to clinch the title. They finished the 2021 season with four-podiums in addition to a win at Lime Rock Park. The success led to the duo returning together for the 2022 season.
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta features a dynamic layout that includes a high-speed, high-commitment turn one, a pair of crucial braking areas into slower technical sections, a long backstretch, and one final fast corner. The 2.54-mile circuit is one that Hagler is looking forward to, having taken three top five finishes in her three previous IMSA outings at Road Atlanta.
Hagler has her eyes firmly set on building momentum through Wednesday’s practice ahead of Thursday’s practice and qualifying, and then the final race of the season with two hours of competition on Friday afternoon streaming live on Peacock.
“Our championship has been a bit up and down this year and we’ve had to fight back hard in the second half of the season,” said Hagler. “Getting the win at VIR was huge. Fighting for wins is what everyone on this Hyundai program is focused on, and it was obviously a huge step forward for us with the championship. So it is good to have a little bit of a gap, but IMSA is so competitive and we know we’ll have to deliver another strong result to bring this [championship] home and that’s exactly what we plan to do!”
If Hagler and Lewis cap the season off with a championship win, Hagler will be the second female to win two back-to-back IMSA titles, falling into the same category as Christina Nielsen, who won back-to-back WeatherTech GTD Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Adding to the excitement of the Championship weekend, Project K-9 Hero – an important cause supported by Hagler – will have a booth set up in the FanZone from Wednesday, September 28, through Saturday, October 1. Hagler and Lewis will be signing autographs at the Project K-9 booth on Thursday at 3:30pm ET and Friday at 10:00am ET.
The Fox Factory 120 will take place on September 30, airing live on Peacock as the green flag waves at 1:10 pm ET.