Down to the Wire: BHA Leads the Battle with Two to Go!

  • Round: 9 of 10 in the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC)
  • Racetrack: Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Danville, VA
  • 3.27-mile road course, featuring 17 turns
  • Race: Sunday, October 10, 2021, at 2:10 p.m. PDT (2 Hours)
  • TV: LIVE on NBC Gold Track Pass
  • Live timing and scoring from each session available at
  • Live radio commentary for every session at and
  •  Replay: NBCSN Thursday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. EDT
Coming off an all-Hyundai podium finish at their title sponsored race last month, the Hyundai race teams turn their focus to the penultimate round of the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Virginia International Raceway. Driving the #77 Veloster N TCR, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis currently hold the points lead this season. Should they ultimately claim the title, Hagler will be the first female ever to win the IMSA TCR championship.
Hyundai Journeys: Hyundai is partnering with world-renowned portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz, on a creative marketing campaign that brings to life the stories of Hyundai owners and employees. The campaign, “Journeys,” features portraits of eight Hyundai owners and 17 employees from across the organization to tell the stories of those that make up the Hyundai brand. Michael Johnson, co-driver of the #54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR is featured as one of the eight in the campaign. Michael is paralyzed from the chest down and has overcome all obstacles to make a name for himself in the sports car racing world. Annie Leibovitz photographed Johnson, and his team earlier this season at Watkins Glen International Raceway.
Win #15: Hyundai has proven to be the most reliable manufacturer since joining the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in 2019. Their most recent victory at Laguna Seca last month was the 15th win for BHA and Hyundai. Hyundai currently leads the manufacturers championship by 20 points over Honda.
Next Level: The second of five episodes of Hyundai’s web series “Next Level” was recently released. The episode, titled “Taylor’s Journey” takes viewers behind the scenes of Taylor’s transition from equestrian competition to climbing the IMSA leaderboard with 350 horses. Watch Next Level on Hyundai’s YouTube channel: (130) Taylor’s Journey | Next Level Ep. 2 | Hyundai – YouTube
Defending the SWEEP: BHA are the defending race winners at VIR. They finished first, second and third last year when Michael Lewis and his then teammate, Mason Filippi finished on the top step of the podium after an exciting battle. Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins were second and Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman were third.
#77 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Best Start: 6th Best Finish: 1st Championship Standings: 1st
  • Michael Lewis is the defending race winner at VIR. Lewis won with then 2020 co-driver Mason Filippi in 2020.
  • Hagler and Lewis have finished on the podium in six of nine races this year.
Michael Lewis: “VIR is such a great track. It has a lot of diverse and fun turns that our Hyundai Veloster N race car handles really well. My favorite part of the track is probably the last sector as it’s just crazy! This track has been good to our Bryan Herta Autosport team and Mason Filippi and I were able to win the race in 2020! I am really looking forward to racing on this track as it’s one of my favorites and it’s one where we see a lot of fan engagement. Taylor, the team, and I have really maximized our results at virtually each race this season and we’ve got two more races to keep up that effort!”
Taylor Hagler: “This is a race I have been looking forward to all year, because we had a rough race there last year. I ended up out of the race early due to get caught up in someone else’s incident. I know the Veloster has performed well there in the past and I am excited to see what Michael and I can do. It feels like a big Lime Rock to me and we won there, so I am feeling good!”
#54 Universal Coating Veloster N TCR
Best Start: 7th Best Finish: 3rd Championship Standings: 7th
  • Stephen and Michael finished third at VIR in 2019.
Michael Johnson: “VIR has always been a fun track for me. My favorite part of the track is going towards old oak tree. That section of the track is incredibly fast. The last couple of years have been good to us at VIR. We have podiumed a couple times! I would say my best drive of the season was at Laguna a few weeks back. Looking forward to using the momentum at VIR!”
Stephen Simpson: “VIR is a fun track, it’s moderately challenging, but a fun track for racing. A few years back I was in fifth at the start of the last lap and finished third, so that is a testament to the passing opportunities at VIR. We welcome engineer Len Paskus, he was with the team last year and comes over from Andretti’s Indy Lights team. I am looking forward to building a relationship with him, he engineered the #29 car last year, so he’s familiar with the Veloster.”
#33 Elantra N TCR
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 4th Championship Standings: 7th
  • Harry and Mark finished second at VIR in 2020, Harry finished second in 2019.
Mark Wilkins: “After a spectacular weekend at Hyundai’s home race at Laguna Seca, I can’t wait to carry that momentum forward into VIR! I’m so happy with the work and continued development we have done with the Elantra over the course of this season. It all came together for us at Laguna after some tough races earlier in the year where we showed very strong pace and performance but didn’t quite put it all together.
VIR is known for drawing an enthusiastic fan base and I know we’ll have some Hyundai N owners cheering us on once again; we love and appreciate all of the support! My favorite part of the circuit is the uphill esses as they test a drivers willingness to go flat out while rewarding a stable and confident car. Our Elantra N TCR will be excellent here and I expect we’ll be right up to speed.”
Harry Gottsacker: “I’m looking forward to getting back at it at VIR and carrying on the momentum from our Laguna Seca Victory. The last two years I have finished second at VIR and We are looking to do one better this time around. It is a beautiful facility and I’m looking forward to running up the esses when we are there next week. It is a challenging sequence of corners and very on edge at the top of the hill, but very well suited for the Elantra N TCR.”
#98 Elantra N TCR
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Championship Point Standings: 2nd
  • Parker Chase finished on the podium at VIR last year while racing the Veloster N TCR with Spencer Brockman.
Ryan Norman: “VIR is a very unique and fun place to race. We have always had fast cars there and we are looking to build off of our second place finish at the last round and go for another win, and hopefully another Hyundai sweep!”
Parker Chase: “VIR has Always been a favorite of mine. With a podium finish last year I’ve got quite high expectations. Ryan and I have had a handful of podiums this year and a win at Mid-Ohio and I’m hoping to secure another one Sunday afternoon.”
Mason Filippi – Hyundai Pro Driver
#51 Veloster N TCR Copeland Motorsports
Best Start: 8th Best Finish: 4th Championship Point Standings: 10th
  • Mason Filippi is the defending race winner and finished second at VIR in 2019.
“Two races left for the season! It has been a great season for Hyundai with some tight battles on track. VIR is one of my favorites of the season, especially being the defending race winner. We had an epic battle there last year, and AJ and I are going for gold this weekend. Going up the esses in the VelosterN TCR car is an absolute blast, it rewards confidence and smooth hands. One win with Michael last year, and the 2nd with Harry the previous year, AJ and I are ready to drop the hammer.”

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