Bryan’s Blog – The Month of May
It has been an extremely busy beginning to the racing year for our entire Bryan Herta Autosport organization, and nothing really sums up the various schedules and initiatives we have in motion more than the month of May. We are still just a few weeks into the month and have had several successes that our entire organization are extremely proud of.
Two Big Hyundai Weekends:
We started out the month at one of my favorite racetracks, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, for the annual Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship weekend. Harry Gottsacker put our #98 Elantra N TCR on the pole, setting a series record, and while we ran into some tough luck on race day, our six-car Hyundai effort showed the pace to win any event on the schedule.
The following weekend, we produced our second annual Hyundai N Performance Academy program that allows consumers the chance to get behind the wheel of Hyundai’s performance N models on some of the world’s most prestigious racetracks. It’s a program we launched with our partners at Hyundai last year and judging by the consumer demand, and the smiles on the participants faces, we are only just getting started.
Welcome to Miami!
The sporting world was abuzz with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, and I was fortunate to score an invite to the event from Gaindbridge. Colton is going to do some F1 testing later this year, and McLaren offered him the chance to spend the weekend imbedded in the team to watch and learn how a top Formula One team operates on an event weekend. For me, it meant I got the chance to enjoy simply being a racing Dad for the first time in a long time, spend some time with our partners at Gainbridge and Michael Andretti, and just generally enjoy the fantastic event that the Miami Grand Prix organization put together.
The next weekend our BHA Hyundai team headed to Mid-Ohio, a track that historically has been a good one for us. We scored our first win in IMSA competition there in 2019, and the first win for the Elantra N TCR there in 2021. We knew that we were positioned well as Hyundais took seven of the top eight positions in Friday’s qualifying session. We were able to keep that momentum going and stay out of trouble to bring home a 1-2 finish in our Elantra N TCR’s with Parker Chase and Harry Gottsacker taking the victory.
Meanwhile, about 240 miles away in Indianapolis, I was on top of the pit box calling strategy for Colton’s #26 Gainbridge Honda in one of the most manic IndyCar races I can ever remember being a part of. After more tire changes, weather changes, and pit strategies than I can count, Colton brought home the win. Any IndyCar win is special but winning at the Brickyard always means a little bit more.
May is an exciting and busy time in Indianapolis with festivities and events within the motorsports community. One of those festivities was the Della Penna Next Generation Women in Motorsports event last week. I was very proud to have three of our BHA Hyundai team personnel: Liz Smith, Megan Ryder and Josephine Eskildsen representing us at event at the Dallara factory. Providing opportunities for women in the sport has been a big priority for Hyundai with their STEM Apprenticeship program they have implemented with us, and the fruits of these investments is starting to show. These talented young women will do great things in our sport in the years to come.
The Big One:
We are now in preparations for the 106th Indianapolis 500 and all signs point to us having a strong car again. As I write this, we are preparing to qualify for the race and watching the weather closely. Our month of May has been amazing already and I hope we can cap it off with a great race on Memorial Day weekend.
Now it’s time to focus on the biggest 500 miles in motorsports and hopefully drinking the milk in Victory Lane!
Until Next Time,