WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 29, 2018) – For Hyundai drivers Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins, championships could be secured this weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, at one of North America’s legendary racing plants, Watkins Glen International, in the Pirelli Challenge season finale TCR doubleheader 40-minute sprint races.
Both Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian racers are fighting for three TCR titles – driver, team and manufacturer – when the action begins with practice rounds this Friday at 3.4-mile, 11-turn road circuit in upstate New York.
TCR Rounds 11 and 12 are scheduled for Saturday at 2:35 p.m. EDT and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. as a strong field of TCR competitors are set for a rolling start on Saturday and a standing start on Sunday.
In addition, the BHA team will be racing for special causes this weekend at the “Glen” with the Hyundai Hope On Wheels (HHOW) livery on the No. 98 and No. 99 machines. HHOW is a Hyundai’s charitable initiative that supports Pediatric Cancer research and September is National Pediatric Cancers Awareness month. In addition, the Hyundai cars will carry a second logo on the car displaying the phrase “Reese is a Beast”, Reese is a close friend of the team and is a young man fighting a battle for his life.
Lewis, the young California driver in the 98 BHA Hyundai i30 N TCR, has been on a tear of late with a double win weekend earlier this month at Utah Motorsport Campus and has closed within seven points of TCR driver point leader Ryan Eversley. Lewis has a season-leading four race wins with his Hyundai i30 N TCR mount. Lewis also captured races at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and Lime Rock Park as well as four runner-up finishes in the first ten events.
Wilkins, the personable Canadian in the 99 BHA Hyundai i30 N TCR, has three TCR race victories and five runner-up placings this year. Mark currently ranks third in TCR points, just 25 markers out of the lead.
The Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian team leads the TCR Team points, 244-222, over RealTime Racing entering this weekend, while Hyundai holds down the top spot in the TCR Manufacturers’ standings at 101-82 over Honda after ten of the 12 events.
“This is our final race of the season, and it has been a really great year with the team,” said Lewis. “This last race feels like it arrived all of a sudden. I am so happy to have been able to run five strong race weekends with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai. We will work hard as a team to run another strong race event in order to secure the Teams’, Manufacturers’, and Drivers’ Championships. It will, for sure, be hard to do this as our competition is really strong. But that is why racing is fun!
“It will be fun to race with our team and the competition one more time on such a fast, flowing, and yet another historic track. A highlight of this weekend, before going into it, is the fact that our race cars will carry logos and a livery to an initiative called Hyundai Hope on Wheels. This initiative is to encourage and support Pediatric Cancer Research to help young men and women, such as our team’s friend named Reese, fight for their lives. The words “Reese is a Beast” will be placed on our cars as well to show our support for our team’s friend during his fight for his life. I am honored to race with Bryan Herta Autosport and for Hyundai because they are recognizing an important cause through our racing adventures.”
Wilkins, the veteran of Prototype, GT3 and GTS sports car competition, figures to be right in the thick of things at Watkins Glen International, but the husband and father in him is thinking of other important aspects to the weekend.
“It’s hard to believe we’ve arrived at the final race weekend of the PWC season,” said Wilkins. “Our Hyundai i30N TCR has been remarkable all year and both Michael and I are excited to put it through its paces at Watkins Glen. I’m confident the fast-flowing nature of Watkins Glen will be well suited to our car. Our primary goal will be the lock down the manufacturers championship for Hyundai and team championship for Bryan Herta Autosport. Michael has a good shot at the driver’s title and it would be great to see him capture that as well!
“I’m honored that that we will be sporting Hyundai Hope on Wheels livery on our cars this weekend. HHOW is Hyundai’s charitable initiative that supports Pediatric Cancer research. And September is National Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. We look forward to sharing how remarkable this program is with teams and fans alike.”
Pirelli World Challenge TCR practice gets underway at Watkins Glen at 10:20 a.m. EDT Friday (August 31) with the Round 11 40-minute sprint race set for Saturday at 2:35 p.m. EDT. Sunday’s Round 12 TCR feature is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Both TCR races this weekend at Watkins Glen International will have live streaming on www.world-challenge.com as well as the Pirelli World Challenge YouTube Channel.