Taylor Hagler Finishes Second in CTMP Debut
Taylor Hagler returned to the IMSA podium on Saturday, scoring second at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 with co-driver Michael Lewis. The two hour race marked the sixth round of the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) season.
Hagler and Lewis navigated the No. 1 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR through the busy two-class race on the high speed, high commitment Canadian circuit in pursuit of a second consecutive IMSA title.
The Texas native once again delivered an impressive charge through the field in her Canadian debut as she managed a clean run in the No. 1 Elantra, navigating both GS and TCR class competition while working to make the most of the Michelin tire life through her run.
A compact weekend with two practices and qualifying in the same day led Hagler to a 1:24.980-minute lap to start P6 on the CTMP grid, her third top six grid position of the season for the 2021 IMPC Champion.
Hagler passed the wheel to Lewis on lap 35 just shy of the one hour mark on the race. Lewis continued the upward trajectory up the order with the No. 1 Elantra N, bringing the driver pair into the top five.
Lewis maintained his fourth place position until finding the opportunity to move up to second on lap 64 following a restart in the last 20-minutes of the IMPC race.
Following closely in his BHA teammates tire tracks and draft, Lewis crossed the line just feet behind the winning sister Herta entry. The second place finish for Hagler and Lewis marks their third podium of the season as Hagler leaves Canada looking forward to the remaining rounds of the 2022 IMSA championship.
“We really risked it all today to be back on the podium,” said Hagler. “The speed of this place is no joke, and I’m glad I was finally able to race here with the Elantra. Michael (Lewis) did a great job moving us back up in the top five and even was incredibly close to a win. I think we had the right strategy, and the car was very fast. I’m impressed with what we did today, but I’m motivated to keep pushing as the IMPC season continues.”
The 2021 IMPC champion started her race week with Hyundai Canada which gave Hagler the chance to learn even more about the 2.459-mile course than she had been able to learn from a race simulator ahead of her debut outing at the track.
“I really appreciated the on the track opportunity with Mark (Wilkins) and Hyundai Canada,” said Hagler. “It’s always great to spend as much time on track as I can with Hyundai and the Bryan Herta Autosport IMSA program. I’m looking forward to all we can accomplish this season and beyond.” Hagler will return to the east coast at Lime Rock Park for the Lime Rock Park 120 on July 16.