Taylor Hagler Completes All Hyundai Podium at Laguna Seca
Checking off another box on her TCR Championship list, Taylor Hagler maintains her championship lead with a third-place finish in the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 during the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship weekend. Hagler and teammate Michael Lewis completed a Hyundai 1-2-3 in the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday.
The quick two-day schedule saw the weekend begin with two practice sessions on Friday. A broken wheel bearing limited track time for the No. 77 Hyundai but the BHA crew quickly went to work in preparation for qualifying.
With the mechanical issue resolved, Hagler made her first flying laps during the 15-minute qualifying session Saturday morning. She clicked off eight laps with the Hyundai slated to start on the sixth row.
Even with condensed time in the driver’s seat, Hagler eyed the TCR competition ahead as the green flag flew for the 120-minute race. She made quick progress, advancing four positions on the first lap. Laying down her fastest lap of the weekend of 1:36.017 seconds on lap five, Hagler continued her charge up the running order breaking into the top five in the opening 15 minutes.
A full-course caution on lap 22 paused Hagler’s progress and marked the end of her 43-minute stint. She brought the No. 77 BHA Hyundai Veloster N TCR to pit lane on lap 26 for a driver change to Lewis. Lewis would go on to pass two drivers in the final twenty minutes of the race to earn himself and Hagler another podium finish.
The third-place finish is the fifth podium result for the No. 77 Hyundai driver duo this season.
“This car, this team, and this result are truly amazing,” said Hagler. “Our weekend didn’t start on a positive note but Michael (Lewis) and I knew what we are capable of. To represent Hyundai on an all-Hyundai podium is fantastic and even better while we lead the championship. With just two races left the pressure is on, but we have our ultimate goal in sight.”
Next on the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge calendar is the penultimate round of the 2021 season at VIRginia International Raceway. The Virginia is for Lovers Grand Prix will go green on Sunday, October 10th at 2:00 PM ET.