Taylor Hagler Returns to Mid-Ohio Podiumadmin
Continuing her run of success at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Taylor Hagler added a second-place finish to her resume in the Mid-Ohio 120 on Saturday. The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge podium finish is the second consecutive podium for Hagler and Michael Lewis in the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR, who lead the provisional championship standings.
Friday saw Hagler qualify the No. 77 Hyundai prior to race day. Issues with the car’s fuel pump stalled the effort at making a fast run during the 15-minute session. Hagler completed the session in 10th for Saturday’s race. Returning to the site of her first IMSA podium and MOTUL Pole Award in 2020, Hagler focused on the race ahead.
Hagler navigated the opening lap chaos while maintaining her position in 10th. Settling into race pace, Hagler began working up the running order and had moved up into seventh by the 30-minute mark.
Door-to-door racing with No. 61 Audi in Turn 11 forced Hagler to take evasive action to maintain her position in seventh. The first full-course caution arrived at the one hour mark, a perfect time for a driver swap as Hagler brought the No. 77 BHA Hyundai Veloster N TCR to pit lane for fuel, tires and a driver change to Lewis.
Lewis returned to the course in sixth and raced his way into third on lap 51 before moving to second a few laps later.
A full-course caution appeared with 25 minutes remaining, packing up the field for a final restart. Lewis pushed the No. 77 Hyundai maintaining a half-second gap to the TCR leader until lapped GS traffic slowed his progress.
Lewis brought the No. 77 Bryan Herta Hyundai Veloster N TCR to the checkered flag in second.
“Mid-Ohio seems to always be good to me,” said Hagler. “The goal for my stint was to gain positions on track while keeping the No. 77 in good condition for Michael (Lewis) to take over. I had some of the closest racing I have been a part of out there and keeping my head down while focusing on what I needed to do helped me navigate that. The BHA team has continued to give us a phenomenal car that is fun to drive and able to get us results. This track keeps growing on me!”
Hagler returns to IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition at Watkins Glen International for the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 on June 24-27 for the second and final four-hour endurance event of the year.