Taylor Hagler to Start on Sixth Row in Daytona Opener
Taylor Hagler will start the opening round of the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) season from 11th on the grid for Friday’s BMW Endurance Challenge (TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, 1:30PM ET).
Making her first-ever start onboard the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) Hyundai Veloster N TCR, Hagler will take on the four hour endurance event as she looks to get her 2021 IMSA campaign off to a quick start.
Hagler joins BHA veteran Michael Lewis for the 2021 season. Lewis will close the race with his eyes on a return to the IMSA podium after securing podium finishes at Sebring International Raceway, VIRginia International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta during the 2020 season.
Utilizing the final practice session on Thursday morning, the BHA crew worked to fine tune the Hyundai while running qualifying simulations to prepare the 25-year-old for her first qualifying run of the season. Hagler and Lewis closed out the second and final practice in sixth.
Taking the green flag for the 15-minute session, Hagler dialed in her Hyundai and gained speed with each lap. On the seventh and final lap, Hagler posted her weekend best time of 2:01.200-seconds to slot the No. 77 Hyundai on the inside of the sixth row in 11th.
“I am still getting used to the car and was hoping for more improvement on my lap time,” said Hagler. “The Bryan Herta Autosport team has been hard at work and we are all happy with where we are currently heading into race day. My goal for the race is to save as much of the tires and fuel as I can so I can hand the car off to Michael (Lewis) to finish out the race in a good position.”
Hagler will take the green flag for the BMW Endurance Challenge Friday, January 29th at 1:35PM ET. Live streaming will be available on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold beginning at 1:30PM ET.