For most of my career as a team owner, I’ve been focused on operating a winning race team and all that goes with it.
This year, we had the opportunity to expand our organization by becoming Hyundai Motorsports’ North American distributor for the Veloster N TCR cars in North America. It is a key function as Hyundai grows its racing presence in America, and as the TCR category builds strength across multiple racing organizations here. It also comes with the need to invest in capabilities and talent in additional areas. The addition of Bob McAleer who we brought over from Andretti Autosport has been key as we develop our parts inventory and fulfillment systems. We also have brought Jeff Swoboda on to head up our sales and marketing efforts to build relationships with a group of racers that we may not have been speaking to previously. Justin Jang, our IMSA series data engineer has been deployed to support our client race teams at several non-IMSA events. I even contributed as a presenter in video content showing what makes the Veloster N TCR such a great racing option.
The most evident result of this expansion is our successful collaboration with Copeland Motorsports. They took delivery of a Veloster N TCR from us in early May, and wasted no time getting on track and into victory lane. At the Sonoma TC America event in June they took home a pole and victory with Mason Filippi behind the wheel. They added another victory at Portland in July. Dean Copeland is the definition of a true racer, and our respective operations seem to work seamlessly together as we pursue race wins. It is relationships like this that are key to growing a loyal Hyundai Motorsports customer base in the years ahead. Hyundai Motor America has been a key part of this expansion too as their contingency program has seen Copeland able to more than double the amount of prize money they would usually take home from a race win.
Additionally, it’s not just TCR that we are working on, as we have begun development on a new Veloster TCA car that will debut in late October at the TC America event in Las Vegas. This category will open up a whole new sector of racers to us, and allow us to build relationships further into the grassroots of the road racing ecosystem.
I have really enjoyed leading the effort and seeing it all come together over the course of the season. We are already speaking with numerous racers who have interest in our cars for 2020, and will have some testing opportunities coming up soon where they can experience the cars and support first hand. None of this however has come at the expense of our IMSA racing efforts. We brought home a fantastic 1 – 3 finish in Lime Rock, and followed that up with our young guns Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi taking home their first IMSA win at Road America then another P2 podium finish at Virgina International Raceway. Our two cars are first (#98) and second (#21) in the championship now, with BHA leading the team standings and just two points out of the lead in the Manufacturers race with just two events to go.
Until next time,