IMSA Swings North, Hagler and Lewis Take TCR Points Lead to Mid-Ohio
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.
|#77 Hyundai Veloster N TCR Drivers: Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis
|Best Start: 9th Best Finish: 3rd Rank: 1st
Hagler earned her first career pole and IMSA Podium (2nd) at Mid-Ohio in 2020Lewis scored Hyundai’s first win at Mid-Ohio in 2019 with co-driver Mark Wilkins.
Taylor Hagler: “This is the track I’ve been looking most forward to. We tested in changing conditions last week, wet to dry and back so I think we are ready for anything this weekend. It’s really exciting to head into the race weekend leading the championship for the first time.”
Michael Lewis: “Taylor and I have one podium already and we were so close at Daytona. Here we are heading into round three at Mid-Ohio as the points leaders, so we’re off to a strong start to the season. We’ll continue on this path of consistency and hopefully pad our points lead this weekend with another strong finish.”