BMW M Endurance Challenge at The Rolex 24 at Daytona
Round 1 of the
2024 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
Bryan Herta Autosport opened the 2024 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season with a double podium in the 4-Hour BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway on Friday.
BHA newcomers Denis Dupont, Nick Looijmans and Preston Brown earned the top spot for Hyundai in the season opener. The trio raced the no. 76 Elantra N TCR to second, securing Brown and Looijman’s first ever IMSA podium finish. Brown qualified and started the race, and Looijmans took over for the middle stint. Dupont set the second fastest race lap while chasing the race winning #17 Audi.
Mason Filippi, Mark Wilkins, and the no. 98 Elantra N TCR crew matched their 2023 result with another third-place podium finish. Filippi raced from ninth to as high as second in his opening stint that totaled two hours and 23 minutes before turning over to Wilkins. While they were unable to catch the leaders, Wilkins, and the no. 98 team maximized their opportunities with a rewarding podium finish.
Taylor Hagler and Bryson Morris held on for a top-ten finish with strong pace and a great strategy, despite an eventful first two hours. Hagler was hit by the #5 Alfa Romeo which resulted in a tire puncture putting the no.77 team one lap down. Resilient, Hagler and Morris raced back inside the top-ten, finishing eighth.
The no. 33 Elantra N TCR driven by defending champions Harry Gottsacker and Robert Wickens started from the pole position. Gottsacker extended his series record when he qualified first, earning his TCR pole position. The pair raced solidly inside the top-two throughout the first two hours and 45 minutes, until they suffered a mechanical failure which ended their race prematurely and left them 12th. The pair led more laps than any other Hyundai, totaling 11, and raising $1100.00 for the local Arnold Palmer Childrens Hospital, courtesy of Hyundai Hope on Wheel’s donation program, where they will donate $100 for every lap led by Hyundai to a local children’s hospital.