Taylor Hagler Debuts New Hyundai at IMS
Representing Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA), Taylor Hagler took the No. 98 Hyundai Elantra N Line TCA for its first race laps in TC America presented by Skip Barber Racing School competition on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Just steps from the iconic Brickyard in Speedway, the new Hyundai Elantra N Line TCA was prepped in the BHA shop for the SRO weekend. Hagler, who drives for BHA and Hyundai in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, opened the weekend with practice and qualifying in the No. 98 machine. Although rain plagued the first day of on-track sessions, Hagler clicked off 29 laps in preparation for the two races.
Dark clouds and heavy rain continued into raceday on Friday making the 2.6-mile road course damp for the start. Opting for an alternate strategy, the No. 98 Hyundai was suited with slicks while the rest of the field chose the rain tire compound. That call proved wise for the BHA team as Hagler quickly gained track position moving up three spots on the opening lap.
The rain did not stay away, reappearing with 13 minutes left on the race clock. Hagler’s steady progress had the No. 98 Hyundai in seventh as rain began to fall on the back half of the track. Even with slick tires, Hagler pushed the Hyundai, climbing three more positions up the running order to fourth.
When the checkered flag flew, Hagler brought the No. 98 Hyundai N Line TCA across the finish line in fourth – the first race result for the Hyundai Elantra in SRO competition.
“Anytime I am able to be behind the wheel is a good time, but driving a Hyundai makes it that much better,” said Hagler. “The BHA team prepared the Hyundai well and it showed especially with the wet conditions. If there were just a few more minutes on the race clock I am sure I would have been able to get on the podium but that’s racing. Hyundai continues to create history and being able to be a small part of that this weekend is an honor.”
Hagler will next be behind the wheel of a Hyundai at the IMSA season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the Fox Factory 120 on Friday, November 12th.