Double Podium for BHA at Daytona

BMW M Endurance Challenge at The Rolex 24 at Daytona

Round 1 of the

2024 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

Race Report

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.

#33 Elantra N TCR


Started: 1st Finished: 12th (DNF) 2024 Standings: 12th

Harry Gottsacker: “Daytona is a place that we have marked on the calendar every year, because it is so important in helping develop the car for the season. This was the best Hyundai Elantra N TCR that we’ve put on track in Daytona. Robert and I really did our jobs in the race, and we were looking to have a battle for the win in the last 30 minutes. Unfortunately, we had an issue and didn’t get to go for the win, but we are going to bring it for the rest of 2024!”
Robert Wickens: “Everything was shaping up very well until it suddenly wasn’t. Harry had a great opening double stint. The team had some great pitstops and a strongstrategy. Unfortunately, halfway through my opening stint we were forced into retirement with a mechanical issue. It stings, but we will come back even stronger in Sebring.”

#76 Elantra N TCR

Started: 13th Finished: 2nd 2024 Standings: 2nd

                                                 Denis Dupont: “I am extremely happy wiht our first race with the team. The whole team executed perfectly, and my teammates Nick and Preston drove a very strong race. That is the strong foundation we were looking for to start our season.”
Nick Looijmans: “I still can’t believe what we did at Daytona. I’ve been hunting for my first IMSA podium for a while, and to do it at Daytona with Bryan Herta Autosport feels extra special. Preston, Denis and I raced smart, and our crew executed perfect pitstops. A big thank you to everyone at BHA and Hyundai USA for their hard work.”
Preston Brown: “I couldn’t be happier with how we’ve begun the season with Bryan Herta Autosport. Coming off the Roar, I knew the drivers and crew were working really well together as a team, and while nothing was given, I felt we were prepared to put a good race together. To have finished second at Daytona was amazing, I am thrilled to have my first IMSA podium and feel very well prepared for Sebring”

#77 Elantra N TCR

Started: 11th Finished: 8th Standings: 8th

Taylor Hagler: “We had the car and the strategy to have a great result, but we never had the chance to show it. The toughest days at the track are the ones when you are not in control. It is

unfortunate that a mistake by a competitor took away that chance. The BHA team has learned and tested many things over the last two weeks, and we can take those notes with us as we prepare for Sebring in March.”

Bryson Morris: “It was a bit of a tough race for us here in Daytona. After having contact early in the race with another car which put us 2 laps down, but we stayed focused and kept running with slight damage we showed great pace which shows promise for the rest of the season.”

#98 Elantra N TCR

Stared: 9th Finished: 3rd 2024 Standings:3rd

Mason Filippi: “It was a great start to the season for Bryan Herta Autosport, with a double podium. Mark and I worked hard with our no. 98 crew to get back on the podium at Daytona. We really enjoyed hte race and are looknig forward to a tough and competitive season in our Elantra N TCR.”
Mark Wilkins: “Making a habit of finishing third at Daytona is okay by me. This is a good start to our season. Surviving these 4-hour races is no easy feat but our Elantra N TCR was on point, and we executed a smart race. It’s a long season and every point is critical, so this is exactly what we needed to do. We have some time to get organized for Sebring and expect we’ll be strong there. Congratulations to the #76 team on their P2 finish! Double podium for the team is a great way to start the year!”
L-R Nick Looijmans, Preston Brown and Denis Dupont celebrate their second place finish at Daytona. Race winners Mikey Taylor and Chris Miller, and third place finishers Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi on Friday, January 26, 2024.
Hyundai Elantra N TCR cars on track at Daytona International Raceway during the BMW M Endurance Challenge on Friday, January 26, 2024.

Top: The Hyundai Drivers competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge experience IMSA’s race control with a briefieng from IMSA Race Director, Beaux Barfield and Media Training.

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