2020 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
Alan Jay Automotive Network 120
November 12-13, 2020
Round: 10 of the 10 race 2020 Michelin Pilot Challenge
Racetrack: Sebring International Raceway
3.74-mile road course, features 17 turns
Race: Friday, November 13, 2020 at 12:05 pm ET (2 Hours)
TV: LIVE on NBC Gold Track Pass at www.nbcsports.com/gold
Live timing and scoring from each session available at www.IMSA.com
Live radio commentary for every session at www.IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com
BHA FAST FACTS:
2020 Manufacturers’ Champions: Their sixth victory of the season all but locked up the manufacturers’ championship for Hyundai at the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Challenge two weeks ago. A Hyundai entry must start the race at Sebring for Hyundai to be awarded the 2020 IMPC Manufacturers’ Champions.
Down to The Wire: Just four points separate the Championship points leaders Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman (257 pts) over Michael Lewis and Mason Filippi (253). Chaves and Norman have won three races and led the championship throughout most of the second half of the season. Lewis and Filippi have won twice and have ranked in the top three since Road America. Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker, currently fourth, sit 13 points behind the leaders. Until the last round at Laguna Seca, where they were collected in an incident on the first lap, the #21 car was ranked in the top three all season.
Lap Leaders: Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman have led 44% of the laps raced this year. They’ve led in every race but one (Mid-Ohio round 1) for a total of 240 laps led out of 535 laps raced.
Earlier this Year at Sebring: Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker were the winners at Sebring in July. Michael Lewis and Mason Filippi finished second in the #98 car. Ryan Norman and Gabby Chaves led 31 laps but struggled with their seatbelt during their driver change pitstop and finished seventh. The #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai Veloster N TCR made its debut at Sebring, Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase ran as high as fourth but finished 11th after contact.
Representing N: The Veloster N Fan club of North Central Florida are avid enthusiasts of the Hyundai N line and the BHA TCR racing program. Thirty members of the club from Daytona, Orlando and Tampa are bringing their Velosters to Sebring Thursday evening to show their cars, meet the BHA drivers and participate in the filming of an episode of Motor Trend’s “Pole Position.”
BHA/Hyundai Customer Support: Three additional Hyundai Veloster N TCR cars will compete in IMPC at Sebring. All part of the BHA/Hyundai Customer Support program, Tyler Maxson and Tyler Gonzalez of Copeland Motorsports return after their phenomenal debut at Road Atlanta where they fought for the win and finished second. van der Steur Racing joins the Hyundai stable with Danny Fromal and Rory van der Steur driving the #91 Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
Bryan’s View: “2020 has been a year like no other, as we approach the final race of the season I am grateful to all our team members, Hyundai, and the dedication and support of everyone at IMSA for helping ensure we had a race season at all. I look ahead to 2021 with new Hyundai teams joining the series with enthusiasm and hope, but right now our focus is 100% on finishing this year as strongly as possible.” – Bryan Herta, team owner
#33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Championship: 1st (257 points)
- The 33 car has scored three victories and one pole position this season.
- The 33 car has led 44% of the laps completed, 240 of 535.
Gabby Chaves: “It’s a big weekend for us and I am excited to get back in the car for the season finale with everything on the line for the championship! I can’t even begin to say how proud I am of our team and the fact that we are in the points battle is a huge honor. We will do our very best to bring home a win and championship for our team and manufacturer!”
Ryan Norman: “I am so excited to get back to Sebring and can’t think of another track where I’d rather finish the season. We were so fast here earlier in the season and luck didn’t go our way during the race so I am looking at turning that around. We are leading the championship, so minimizing any mistakes will be important, and I know Gabby and I will give it everything we have. It’s been a great season, I’m having so much fun racing these Velosters and I can’t wait to end it on a high note.”
#98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis
Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 1st Championship: 2nd (253 pts)
- The 98 car is second in the championship, trailing by four points.
- Seven top five finishes in 2020 including 2 victories, 2 DNF’s
(R.A. and Laguna Seca).
- Filippi and Lewis finished second at Sebring earlier this year.
Mason Filippi: “I cannot believe how fast our season has gone by! The BHA Veloster N TCR cars have been strong all season and I can’t wait to battle it out for the championship at Sebring. We had a great race earlier this year at Sebring when we finished second and hopefully, we can move up one more step this round for the win! The stakes are high, and Michael and I want to win that championship. Thank you to everyone in IMSA and Bryan Herta Autosport for the amazing season and hard work for each race in these crazy times. Our number one focus this year as a team was to win the manufacturers championship for Hyundai, that is all but wrapped up, so it’s time to fight for the drivers’ championship!”
Michael Lewis: “This is our final race of the season! What a year it’s been. Thank you to IMSA for putting in health measures for us to go racing each time and thank you to Bryan Herta Autosport for following those guidelines. Our #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR was strong in every race. Big thanks to our engineer, John Ward. He has had a legendary career in racing and is retiring after this race. He’s been my race engineer the last three years and we will miss him. I wouldn’t change anything this season as we are in a championship fight going into the last race! That’s all we could ever hope for when starting a championship. For Sebring itself, managing the tire life will be important so that we can do consistent and fast laps for an entire stint. The heavy braking at this track mixed with many tight turns definitely puts stress on the front Michelin tires we use. Thank you to all of our fans for following our season and we hope to put on a good show for you and we look forward to congratulating Hyundai on their manufacturers’ championship!”
#21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Championship: 4th (243) points
- The 21 car has one victory and one pole position this season.
- Wilkins and Gottsacker are the defending race winners at Sebring.
- Gottsacker leads the team in pole positions (2).
Harry Gottsacker: “I’m really looking forward to getting back to Sebring this week for the second time in 2020. Mark and I had a victory here last time around and I feel like we had a real good weekend there from start to finish. After a few weeks of bad luck recently, we’re looking to finish strong and try to get back in the top 3 of the driver’s championship and support Hyundai for the manufacturers’ championship. If there was one race, I could re-do this year, it would be Laguna because we didn’t get to show how good of a car we had after the lap 1 incident. My favorite moment of the season is probably the pole position at Road Atlanta. That was really important for me to check that box, and at a track that I really enjoy.”
Mark Wilkins: “I’m really excited to get back down to Sebring where we started off with a big win in July! It’s been a bit of a tough latter part of the season for Harry and me. We are looking to end on a high note and taking the WIN would be a great way to cap off the 2020 season! We are excited to see our Veloster N fans this weekend! Sebring is such an awesome racetrack and a great place to finish the year. As a team, we lock down the manufacturers’ championship for Hyundai at the drop of the green flag. It has been a tremendous effort by all at Bryan Herta Autosport to accomplish this goal! Harry and I are looking forward to battling hard for a chance at capturing the drivers’ championship! It’s going to be a real fight to the finish and I’m anticipating some fantastic racing!”
#29 Vertical Bridge/Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman
Best Start: 4th Best Finish: 2nd Championship: 6th (222 points)
- The #29 car made their series debut at Sebring, one race into
- The #29 car has finished on the podium 4 times and led three
Races for a total of 54 laps.
Parker Chase: “It should be an exciting season finale at Sebring. We’ve all raced there this year, so we have a good baseline to work from. We had a tough IMPC debut there in July after being taken out early in the race, so I am happy to get another shot at a win there…redemption.”
Spencer Brockman: “We are heading back to Sebring for the second time this season and final run of the year! Sebring is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule and always makes for an interesting weekend. Last race here was quite difficult for Parker and I after contact with another car really hurt us in the long run. We have yet to get a win in the #29 Veloster N TCR this year so it would be great to wrap up the season with one!”