Two to Go: BHA Takes Championship Lead to VIR

Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix
Round 9 of the 2022 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
August 26-27, 2022
Racetrack: Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Alton, VA
3.027-mile road course, features 17 turns
Race: Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 4:40pm EST
TV: Live on NBC’s PEACOCK:
Listen: Live radio commentary for every session at and Live timing and scoring from each session available at Live updates are available throughout the weekend on BHA social media and
Leading the Way for Hyundai: Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis made history winning the Drivers’ Championship in 2021, when Hagler became the first woman to win the title and Lewis the first two-time winner. In title defense, they’ve led the standings through six of the eight events this season and currently hold a 30-point lead with 2270 points over the three-time race winning Alfa Romeo of Roy Block and Tim Lewis at 2240. While Hagler and Lewis have yet to win a race this year, they’ve proven consistency is key, with five podium finishes (four second place, one third) in 2022, leading the way for Hyundai.
Momentum: Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson head to VIR after back-to-back second place finishes at Lime Rock Park and Road America. The odds may be in their favor for a threepeat as they finished second at VIR last year. The duo is currently ranked fifth in the championship.
Pole Master: Harry Gottsacker set a new series record with his sixth pole position earlier this season. After a swing of taking the checkered flag, Gottsacker and Chase will mix it up this weekend and Gottsacker will look to extend his record.
Side Trip: Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi drove their personal Elantra N’s through the Tale of the Dragon on this week prior to arriving at VIR. The famed 11-mile journey features 315 turns, where the duo put their Elantra’s and Michelin’s to the test. Tales from their journey can be found on Hyundai, Michelin and Mark and Mason’s social media channels.
VIR Debut: A rookie in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Robert Wickens has tested, but never raced at VIR. Wickens tested at the track while racing open wheel in 2005. With two victories and a third place finish, Wickens is third in the standings, 150 points out of the lead.
#1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
2021 Drivers/Team CHAMPIONS
2022: Best Start: 5th Best Finish: 2nd Ranked: 1st 2270 pts.
Taylor Hagler: “The championship fight is really coming down to these last two races, and I’m looking forward to finishing the season at two tracks that I really enjoy every year! I know the team has been working hard since Road America to make sure we have a great car to help defend our points lead. Michael and I just need to keep doing what we’re doing and go for it!”
Michael Lewis: “VIR is a really great track. I’m excited to race our Hyundai Elantra N race car here as it’s a technical track with a lot of different turns. There’s elevation, fast turns, hairpins, and technical chicanes. The track also provides great viewing areas from which to watch the racing action. If you are attending the race, definitely check out our Bryan Herta Autosport tent to see our race cars and say hello!!”
#2 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 3rd Ranked: 12th 1740 pts.
Ryan Norman: “AJ and I will be looking to end the year on a high note. We’ve had some bad luck the last couple of races, yet we really feel like we have the pace to win the last two races and that’s our one and only goal for the #2 Elantra N TCR car!”
AJ Muss: “Ryan are I definitelyl looking forward to VIR. “We’ve ahad a pretty rough season. Things haven’t been going our way, the car has been there, and the team has been working their butts off to give us the best car possible, but we’ve just had a lot of bad luck, getting hit while running strong. We’re excited for a really good race and looking forward to helping our teammates in the championship and contributing to Hyundai’s efforts to win the manufacturers title.”
#33 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 3rd Ranked: 3rd 2120 pts.
*Mark was unable to compete at Mid-Ohio, there for, he is currently ranked 7th with 1920 pts.
Mark Wilkins: “I’m really looking forward to getting back to VIR. This was a strong race for the Elantra N TCR last year, Harry and I finished third. With all of the set-up work that we have done this year I expect that we will have a great shot at going for a win this weekend. Robert has a really strong championship run going and if we can finish the season with a couple of wins or podiums, he will be in a good position to score well overall on the year! VIR is a fun circuit with the high speed esses being the trickiest part.
Prior to getting to VIR, Mason and I are at the tail of the dragon running a pair of Elantra N’s on this famous enthusiast road! Thanks to our partners at Michelin, we have a set of pilot sport cup 2 tires on one of the cars. Stay tuned for some exciting content on our social channels in the coming days!”
Robert Wickens: “The season is winding down and a lot can still happen. I think its important for us to stick to our basics and only focus on ourselves and what we can control. With that being said, our best shot at the championship is to win the last two races of the year so that will be the target. I am looking forward to getting back to VIR, I’ve actually never raced here before. Only tested a car back in 2005 so it will be nice to get back on a nice and technical circuit. “
#54 Universal Coating Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 3rd Best Finish: 2nd Ranked: 5th 2070 pts.
Michael Johnson: “Virginia International Raceway has always been a thrill of a track to race. I have raced here growing up through the years and have had a lot of success. Hopefully we can use the momentum from Road America , and Lime Rock and get another strong result this weekend!”
Stephen Simpson: “Michael and I are enjoying a strong second half to the season and intend to keep that trend going this weekend at Lime Rock Park and at the finale at Road Atlanta next month. Our Engineer, Chri Finch is always working hard to give us great cars and it’s rewarding to finish on the podium, but it’s much more satisifying to win and that is what we’ll be going for this weekend.”
#77 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 3rd Ranked: 10th 1790 pts.
Mason Filippi: “VIR is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. Our Elantra N is great through the highspeed esses and with the chance of weather it should be an interesting race with lots of fun challenges. Tyler and I are hunting our win and ready to drive hard”.
Tyler Maxson: “We’re consistently fast at VIR so we’re excited to go out there and give it everything we have. I got a taste of it last year and I have a great relationship with Mason [Filippi] and Bryan Herta Autosport and hope together that we can close the season strong. I relish the opportunity to show what we can really do. We can claim pole positions it seems at will, now we just need to convert the speed into race results once wheel-to-wheel racing begins.”
#98 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Ranked: 4th 2100 pts.
Harry Gottsacker IV: ” We have had some great runs in the past at VIR and we really need to grab a win to stay in the championship hunt. I was able to grab pole last year, so I know we will have plenty of speed in our Elantra N TCR. Parker and I are focused on doing whatever we can do help Hyundai capture the manufacturer’s championship.”
Parker Chase: “VIR has always been a favorite track of mine so really looking forward to this weekend. We’re going to need a miracle for this championship but there’s a chance. Harry and I will be giving it our all to maximize points.”
Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian:
Founded in 2009, Bryan Herta Autosport has grown from a single car Indy-Lights team into a multi-championship winning auto racing franchise. Led by IndyCar and Sports Car star Bryan Herta, Bryan Herta Autosport has won races in every discipline they have entered, including Indy Lights, Indy Car, Global Rallycross, and championship titles in Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA. BHA rose to prominence after winning the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in what was the final race of the Centennial Era, a celebration of 100 years of racing at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with driver Dan Wheldon. Five years later, BHA partnered with Andretti Autosport, and defied the odds again, winning their second Indianapolis 500 with rookie driver Alexander Rossi. In 2018, BHA entered the American Sports Car scene beginning its immensely successful partnership with Hyundai. Together, BHA and Hyundai have won four championships in as many seasons, including three consecutive team and driver championships, and two consecutive (2020, 2021) manufacturer’s titles in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. For more information, visit:
BHA/Hyundai Customer Support: Bryan Herta Autosport is the U.S. sales agent and part support representative of Hyundai TCR and TCA race cars for customer teams. The BHA/Hyundai Customer Support Team offers trackside engineering support, setup and tuning advice, and part and order fulfillments for the Hyundai Veloster N TCR and TCA teams and drivers from the BHA’s headquarters in Speedway, IN. Since its North American debut in 2019, the Hyundai Veloster N TCR has scored 27 race wins, and three TCR championship titles.
Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America focuses on ‘Progress for Humanity’ and smart mobility solutions. Hyundai offers U.S. consumers a technology-rich lineup of cars, SUVs, and electrified vehicles. Our 820 dealers sold more than 620,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2020, and nearly half were built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. For more information, visit
Images: – Image copyright @LATUSA
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