IMSA Swings North, Hagler and Lewis Take TCR Points Lead to Mid Ohio

2021 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
Mid-Ohio 120
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Round: 3 of 10 in the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC)
Racetrack: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH
2.258-mile road course, featuring 13 turns
Race: Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 3:35 pm ET (12:35 pm PT) (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
Mid-Ohio Dreamin’: Taylor Hagler, the current TCR points leader in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge scored her first IMSA pole position and had a phenomenal drive to her first podium finish (2nd) at Mid-Ohio in 2020.
“I’ve had countless dreams about my return to Mid-Ohio after such a strong weekend last year, and I’ve been running laps in my head for the last 8 months,” said Hagler. “Coming back as the points leader and in the Veloster with Michael (Lewis, co-driver) is the perfect scenario to finish one step higher on the podium for the win!”
Lewis and Hagler finished fourth in the season opener at Daytona and followed that with their first podium, when they finished third at Sebring in March.
The WINS: BHA and Hyundai scored their very first IMSA victory at Mid-Ohio two years ago. Since then, they’ve tallied 10 more for 11 wins since 2019, for a 52% win rate.
The POINTS Picture: Heading into the third race of the 2021 IMPC Championship, there are five Hyundai’s in the top-ten. The #77 Hyundai Veloster N TCR driven by Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis lead the way by 20 points over Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson who are tied for second in the #54 Veloster N TCR. AJ Muss and Mason Filippi are ranked sixth in the #51 Veloster N TCR while Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins are seventh in the all-new Elantra N TCR. Van Der Steur Racing’s Dennis DuPont and Rory Van Der Steur round out the top ten in the #19 Veloster N TCR.
Unstoppable: IndyCar star Robert Wickens completed a track day with BHA last week at Mid-Ohio, driving the #54 Veloster N TCR. It was Wickens’ first time back in a race car since his horrific accident in August of 2018. Throughout his grueling recovery, Wickens vowed to race again, despite his spinal cord injury which has limited the use of his legs. BHA driver Michael Johnson, who is also paralyzed from a racing incident offered Wickens the opportunity to drive the #54 Veloster N TCR which is outfitted with hand controls. Wickens ran 64 laps at Mid-Ohio last Tuesday, he wasted no time getting up to pace with the system. The track day was celebrated worldwide with fan and media coverage celebrating Wickens return, and will be featured in the Mid-Ohio race broadcast this weekend.
#33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
Drivers: Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker
Best Start: 8th Best Finish: 7th Rank: 6th
  • Mark Wilkins scored Hyundai’s first IMSA victory at Mid-Ohio in 2019 with then co-driver Michael Lewis.
Harry Gottsacker: “I can’t wait to get back in to the swing of things over real race weekend after a month or two of iRacing! Kuddos to IMSA for keeping us busy and fresh with the iRacing championship. We had a tough weekend at Mid-O last year, but Mark and I are coming back strong for our first podium of the year in the new Elantra N TCR.”
Mark Wilkins: “Harry and I will be going for the win this weekend with the Elantra N TCR. Weather could always be a factor at we are prepared for that from our test last week. David Brown and all of the Engineers have continued to work hard developing our new race car despite the long breaks in competition, I am excited to see where we stack up at Mid-Ohio.”
#98 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
Drivers: Parker Chase and Ryan Norman
Best Start: 5th Best Finish: 9th Rank: 11th
  • Ryan Norman is the defending TCR Champion.
  • Parker Chase recently announced his entry into ARCA competition in addition to IMPC. He is also racing for Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Truck Series
Ryan Norman: “I grew up outside of Cleveland, so Mid-Ohio is definitely a highlight for me on the IMSA schedule. I was really happy with our test last week. Laps are everything right now developing the new Elantra N TCR.”
Parker Chase: “It’s a busy time, I am racing a lot and learning a lot. I’ve always believed versatile drivers make better drivers and seat time is invaluable. Mid-Ohio is a great Drivers track, tough and a bit technical, Ryan and I are anxious to race to our first podium of the year.”
#77 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis
Best Start: 9th Best Finish: 3rd Rank: 1st
  • Hagler earned her first career pole and IMSA Podium (2nd) at Mid-Ohio in 2020
  • Lewis scored Hyundai’s first win at Mid-Ohio in 2019 with co-driver Mark Wilkins.
Taylor Hagler: “This is the track I’ve been looking most forward to. We tested in changing conditions last week, wet to dry and back so I think we are ready for anything this weekend. It’s really exciting to head into the race weekend leading the championship for the first time.”
Michael Lewis: “Taylor and I have one podium already and we were so close at Daytona. Here we are heading into round three at Mid-Ohio as the points leaders, so we’re off to a strong start to the season. We’ll continue on this path of consistency and hopefully pad our points lead this weekend with another strong finish.”
#54 Universal Coating Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson
Best Start: 12th Best Finish: 3rd Rank: 2nd
  • Johnson and Simpson have finished in the top-five in both events this season.
  • Stephen Simpson has a busy month, he is also the spotter for #8 IndyCar driven by Marcus Ericsson at the Indianapolis 500.
Michael Johnson: “I was under the weather last week while we were testing, but fortunately Stephen and Robert (Wickens) were able to develop the car in changing conditions. It was really great to see Robert back in the car, he’s an exceptional driver, and an exceptional person, and I am glad we were able to offer him the opportunity to help him transition to racing with hand controls.”
Stephen Simpson: “Michael and I are off to a solid start this season. We finished third at Mid-Ohio last year, that combined with a great test last weeks puts us in good shape for the weekend.”
Hyundai Factory Driver – Mason Filippi
#51 Veloster N TCR – Copeland Motorsports
Best Start: 8th Best Finish: 5th Rank: 5th
  • Entering his third season driving the Hyundai Veloster N TCR car, Mason Filippi is driving with Copeland Motorsports in 2021, representing Hyundai and co-driving with Olympian AJ Muss.
  • Filippi drove the Elantra N TCR for the first time while testing at Mid-Ohio last week.
Mason Filippi: “I’m really looking forward to getting back in the #51 Veloster N TCR with Copeland Motorsports and my co-driver AJ Muss. The Veloster is always on rails at Mid-Ohio and I think as long we continue to keep it clean and have good stops, we should be able to reach the podium. The competition will be tough, but that is what makes TCR racing so special.”

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