Mixing it up – BHA announces new driver combinations for 2023

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2023 – Four-time IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) Champions, Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian (BHA) will debut two new driver pairings and a new technical director when the 2023 IMPC season kicks off with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 next week at Daytona International Raceway.
Continuing their winning pedigree with Hyundai Motor America, BHA will contest three Hyundai Elantra N TCR cars, the #1, #33 and #98 led by veteran Team Manager, Phil Howard.
Seeking their third straight Drivers Championship, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis will drive the #1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR. Hagler became the first woman to win the TCR championship in North America with her maiden title in 2021 before doubling down on her record with another title in 2022. Lewis will pursue his fourth TCR title in 2023, another series record. Lewis is one of three TCR drivers in the world to have won three titles in the same championship.
New for 2023, Harry Gottsacker IV will pair with Robert Wickens to co-drive the #33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR. Gottsacker holds the series record for pole positions (6) and has won races in each of the last four seasons while racing for BHA. One of the most recognized stories in motorsports in 2022 was Robert Wickens’ very successful return to racing. Wickens made his driving debut using hand controls at the 4-hour season opener at Daytona, which resulted in a podium finish. He went on to score a pole position and two victories in his rookie season of TCR competition. Wickens, a former Formula One reserve driver and veteran of DTM and INDYCAR, now drives with hand controls due to a spinal cord injury while racing in INDYCAR in 2018.
Accomplished Hyundai drivers Mason Filippi and Mark Wilkins will pair for the first time to drive the #98 Hyundai Elantra N TCR. Entering his fifth TCR season driving under the Hyundai banner, Filippi is a four-time TCR race winner and scored two pole positions and two podium finishes in 2022. A veteran of the Hyundai/BHA partnership since its inception, 2019 Champion Mark Wilkins seeks his second title. Wilkins has eight TCR victories, including two last season while co-driving with fellow Canadian Robert Wickens.
Additional changes to the BHA line-up includes the promotion of Kyle Compton to Technical Director. Compton started as an intern with BHA in 2016 and has since engineered two championship winning efforts, his first with Ryan Norman and Gabby Chaves in 2020 and again engineering Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis to their first title as co-drivers in 2021.
Since entering their immensely successful Sports Car partnership in 2018, BHA and Hyundai have won five series titles, including four consecutive team and driver championships, three consecutive manufacturer’s titles (2020, 2021, 2022) and 19 race wins together in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. BHA is also the U.S. sales agent and part support representative of Hyundai TCR and TCA race cars for customer teams.
All 10 rounds of the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will air live on NBC’s Peacock. Live audio along with live timing and scoring will be available at IMSA.com. Follow BHA’s social channels and the teams’ website, www.bryanhertaautosport.com for updates, images, and special features.
#1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
2021 and 2022 Drivers/Team CHAMPIONS
Taylor Hagler: “We are entering the season as defending champions and our plan is to be consistent and work on some small things that we know we can improve on from 2022. Part of the plan of being consistent is having a lot of key components remain the same like Michael and I behind the wheel and our Engineer, Stefano Galante calling the race. I’m looking forward to continue to represent Hyundai and to share my journey in motorsports with them as we try to grab championship number 3 in the Elantra N TCR!”
Michael Lewis: “What a team! I am excited to get racing with Taylor, Mark, Robbie, Mason, Harry and the entire Bryan Herta Autosoprt team this year. Let’s go win another manufacturer’s championship for Hyundai! The competition will be strong, but that’s what makes it a race! Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai have great and hard working people and I am grateful to be with such great team members. See you at the track!”
#33 Elantra N TCR
Harry Gottsacker IV: “There really seems to be a buzz and confidence about this season, and I am looking forward to getting started with Robert Wickens, Hyundai, and BHA. We’re going into this season with a sharp focus on winning races and putting ourselves in position to win the championship. From our individual performance and team performance in 2022 we know that we have all of the right tools to do the job. I appreciate the hard work that went on in the off season to put this together and prepare for our strongest season yet.”
Robert Wickens: “Im really excited to continue with Hyundai and BHA for the 2023 IMPC this season. After what was a pretty successfull first season back, The goal was to win the championship and we didn’t acheive that. For 2023, I am hopefull to build on the foundations we put in, and working alongside Harry, who is a a proven race winner I think we have all the makings o challenge for the championship, and that is defintely the goal. We have the car to do it and the team to do it, it will be all about minimizing mistakes and executing.”
#98 Elantra N TCR
Mason Filippi: “I am extremely excited to be back with Bryan Herta Autosport in 2023. The Elantra N TCR car is an amazing car with unfinished business and this year we have our sights set on continuing our success. Additionally, my eyes are set on the drivers’ championship with my teammate Mark Wilkins. Over the past 4 years Mark and I have always worked hard off track and battled on, and we are looking forward to taking our synergy to the drivers seat!”
Mark Wilkins: “What an unbelievable five years it has been with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai. We have accomplished so many goals over the years and we’ve had so much fun in the process. It has been incredibly rewarding to watch the N brand grow alongside our motorsport efforts! Heading into year six brings with it new challenges, new goals and a new, but not so new teammate in Mason!
I’ve watched Mason grow and develop his skill set over the past four seasons and I’m really excited to be racing alongside him in 2023! We both share a common goal of winning on track as well as sharing our passion for Hyundai’s N road cars off track.. It’s going to be a challenging season with new competitors and a stout field but we are excited to get to work on our championship run in a few short weeks at Daytona.
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 five championships in as many seasons, including four consecutive team and driver championships, and three consecutive (2020, 2021, 2022) manufacturer’s titles in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. For more information, visit: www.BryanHertaAutosport.com.
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 830 dealers sold more than 724,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, and nearly half were built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. For more information, visit www.HyundaiNews.com.
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Images: www.BHAMedia.com – Image copyright @LATUSA
Video: Subscribe to the BHA YouTube channel for video updates, Interviews and features from each race weekend: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdpjGo7dEuzYazs2ioBMVPQ/videos

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