Taylor Hagler Returns to Mid-Ohio Podium with Hyundai
Taylor Hagler and fellow Bryan Herta Autosport pilot Michael Lewis teamed to drive the No.1 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR on to the Mid-Ohio 120 podium on Saturday with a strong run to second.
Looking to make a vibrant defense of the duo’s 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) championship, Hagler and Lewis once again made the most of the Hyundai platform, strong team execution from BHA, and good race pace to bring home the duo’s third podium result of the season.
With a busy day at the track Friday, Hagler had a solid qualifying run in the afternoon following practice in the morning. Qualifying P6 with a lap time of 1:29.334-seconds set Hagler and Lewis up for a competitive race. The 2021 IMPC champion demonstrated her continued progress, improving multiple positions over her qualifying effort at Mid-Ohio last year.
Starting from the third row of the grid, Hagler navigated immediate trouble on the initial green flag leading to a yellow flag within the first 4 minutes of the 2-hour race. Following another restart on lap 14, Hagler once again had a clean restart to race in top five contention following to move into the top five on the 2.258-mile track.
After over an hour in the car, Hagler handed the No. 1 Elantra N over to Lewis from third place on a green flag stop to keep their forward progress going, ultimately taking them from the middle of the pack back to the podium.
“We had a solid race today,” said Hagler. “There was a lot of traffic in both classes and you just had to pick your moment. The Elantra was awesome around here. We didn’t know if the storms were going to come in the race, but they missed us and it was an all dry race so we could just concentrate on sticking to our original strategy. I think Michael (Lewis) could have had a push for the win if he had a few more laps, but it is great to be back on the podium and keep this consistent run of good finishes going so I’m really happy.”
Hagler will return to Round 5 of the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season at Watkins Glen International from June 23-26.