GRANTSVILLE, Utah (August 11, 2018) – Michael Lewis hit the throttle at the green flag Saturday in the Pirelli World Challenge Round 9 TCR event and never looked back in his No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR race car.
The personable Californian drove from his pole position in the 40-minute sprint road racing event at Utah Motorsports Campus and led wire-to-wire in the 20-lap feature at the 3.048-mile, 14-turn outer track inside the large Utah racing facility in near 100-degree heat.
Saturday’s TCR race for the first for the racing category at the Utah race plant and Lewis put his name in the records with a dominating run. It was Michael’s third TCR win in 2018 and sixth for the BHA team and Hyundai.
Only Lewis’ BHA Hyundai teammate, Canadian Mark Wilkins, could stay close to Michael in the first half of the race as the two veteran racers pulled away from the rest of the TCR field Saturday. At the checkered flag, Lewis defeated Wilkins by 2.613 seconds in the impressive 1-2 finish for the team’s fifth 1-2 finish of the 2018 TCR campaign for the BHA Hyundai boys.
“Big thank you to all the Hyundai service managers and all these other corporate members being here,” said Lewis. “It’s cool to get the win and see them cheering us on. We’re trying to get points for Drivers’ championship and Team championship. But, first and foremost, this win helps us as we’re working hard for the Manufacturer championship for Hyundai.”
Lewis and Wilkins currently rank second and third behind point leader Ryan Eversley in the TCR Drivers’ standings, but Bryan Herta Autosport tops the Team points by 18 and Hyundai leads the Manufacturers standings by 15.
“A great day for Hyundai, another 1-2,” said WIlkins. “Congrats to Michael. He did a great job in qualifying and took it all home to win the race. Overall everything was functioning as normal, the car’s balance was still good and we just tried our best to stay out of trouble. It’s a great day for Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai and all the support they’ve brought here today, so it feels so good to win 1-2. Hyundai has given us a great baseline car to work with. All in all, we made a few tweaks but it’s just a great platform to begin with. The track is technical, there’s a lot of variety, there are a lot of high-speeds and brake zones and the track lets you test all the aspects of the car.”
Lewis also set the fastest race lap Saturday at 1:59.212 for a 92.04 miles per hour average. With that new track record, Michael will start from the pole position again in Sunday’s Round 10 event with the unique standing start. Wilkins will start alongside on the front row in the 40-minute set to start at 1:00 p.m. MDT.
Sunday’s TCR race at Utah Motorsports Campus will have live streaming on www.world-challenge.com and the World Challenge channel on YouTube.