Top Five Finish For Hagler At Lime Rock Park
Taylor Hagler raced to a fourth place finish in the Lime Rock Park 120 on Saturday. The result extended her and teammate Michael Lewis’ lead in the IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge TCR Championship as the duo now hold a 70-point advantage in the provisional points standings with three rounds of racing remaining in the 2022 season.
Following a strong run to second place two weeks ago, Hagler and co-driver Lewis had another solid outing in the No. 1 Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) Hyundai Elantra N TCR on Saturday.
Having been the site of a breakthrough victory for Hagler and Lewis last year, the champions were hoping to make another run to the podium on the lightning-quick short track set in the rural northwest corner of Connecticut.
Starting from eighth on the grid, Hagler improved to fifth position in her starting stint while navigating heavy GS and TCR traffic on the 1.474-mile road course. The opening segment of the race ran at a relentless pace with no cautions, as Hagler took to the pit lane ahead of the midway point as the safety car made its first appearance of the day ahead of the midway point of the race.
After Lewis took to the No. 1 BHA Hyundai, he ran consistently in eighth when a car went off course and opened the opportunity for the Elantra to pit for tires and fuel earlier than competitors ahead of the second yellow flag.
Lewis maintained third until contact to the left rear of the car sent the No. 1 BHA Hyundai towards the back of the field to tenth. With the car initially covering the track in a plume of smoke, Lewis was able to recover and raced through the field, advancing five positions in the closing 25 minutes of the race to bring home the Hyundai fourth.
With the redemption of the No. 1, Hagler was satisfied with a weekend of hard work and good points for the driver pair to continue their charge through the 2022 season.
“It was a pretty good weekend,” said Hagler. “We didn’t end up where we wanted to be with the car, but to come out of here fourth and earn good points, I think that’s a good weekend overall. When Michael got hit, it looked like the race was over. But fortunately we were able to keep going and he kept moving up to take fourth at the end, so that’s really solid. The balance wasn’t exactly what I was looking for today, but the Elantra continued to make progress all weekend long, and I’m already looking forward to Road America.”
The Lime Rock Park weekend coincided with the Hyundai N Day on Friday that unveiled two new Hyundai performance vehicles: N Vision 74 and RN22e. This world premiere showed the future of Hyundai Ns with the concept vehicles’ exceptional vision for sustainability and driver customization. Hagler will return for the eighth round of the 2022 IMPC season at Road America on August 6.