Hagler, Lewis Take the TCR Points Lead to The Glen, Something New for Wickens

The Tioga Downs 120
Round 5 of the 2022 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
June 23-25, 2022
Racetrack: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
3.4-mile road course, features 11 turns
Race: Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 4:10pm EST
TV: Live on NBC’s PEACOCK: www.peacock.tv
Listen: Live radio commentary for every session at www.IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com
Live timing and scoring from each session available at www.IMSA.com. Live updates are available throughout the weekend on BHA social media and www.bryanhertaautosport.com
Keys to the Title? Consistency: Teammates Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis have proven that consistency is the key to success. In 2021, Taylor and Michael finished every race, scored one victory and finished on the podium in five additional races, including a pair of thirds at Watkins Glen en route to winning the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge title. 2022 is looking similar, as the Champions work to defend their title, they enter round five at Watkins Glen leading the championship by 130 points and they’ve finished second in three of the first four races.
WGI Podiums: Five of BHA’s 12 TCR drivers have finished on the podium racing a Hyundai at The Glen: Harry Gottsacker (2021), Mark Wilkins (2019), Michael Lewis (2019, 2021), Parker Chase (2021), Ryan Norman (2021) and Taylor Hagler (2021).
WGI Rookie: Despite years of open wheel and sports car racing, Robert Wickens has never driven at Watkins Glen International. Wickens will make his first laps at The Glen this weekend.
3 Out of 4: The 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season is about to jump into a high gear, with three races in the next four weekends. To give this challenge some perspective, The six Bryan Herta Autosport Elantra N TCR’s are expected to complete approximately 248 race laps in the next four weeks. That’s just 40 laps less than the 282 race laps completed so far this season – over a five month period.
The 77 is Back: Tyler Maxson and Mason Filippi kicked off their season up front when they locked in the first TCR two pole positions of the season in their #77 Elantra N TCR. Their pole winning racer was destroyed in a heavy impact at Sebring. Shipping delays on a new Elantra N TCR car from Germany meant the young guns have been racing the Veloster N TCR the last two races. Upon arrival at the teams Speedway, Indiana headquarters, the BHA crew diligently built the new Elantra N to meet IMSA’s technical specifications and Mason Filippi gave it a successful shakedown last week at Putnam Park outside of Indianapolis. Filippi and Maxson will return to racing the Elantra N TCR this weekend at Watkins Glen.
Headed North: Canadian race fans are in for a extra special Canada Day celebration next weekend, when the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series returns to the legendary Canadian Tire Motorsports Park next weekend for the first time since 2019. Canadian teammates and fan favorites Mark Wilkins and Robert Wickens anxiously await their home race, and for Wickens, it will be his first time racing in Canada since he finished fourth racing in IndyCar at the Toronto Indy in 2018. He last competed at CTMP when it was known as MoSport in 2009, racing Formula Atlantic. Wickens commented, “Home races are always special so I’m really looking forward to racing on home soil again. In 2018 my home race was the highlight of my season, so hopefully we can get our Hyundai Elantra N TCR on the podium. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has always been like a second home for me, and as a kid I spent most weekends at their karting track and watching the IMSA races. Those are some of the coolest moments of my childhood so I always enjoy going back to CTMP where I have some fond memories.”
#1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
2021 Drivers/Team CHAMPIONS
2022: Best Start: 5th Best Finish: 2nd Ranked: 1st 1220 pts.
Taylor Hagler: “It feels like it has been such a long time since we were behind the wheel of the Hyundai Elantra N TCR at Mid Ohio! I’ve kept busy doing some home projects and attending Hyundai’s activation at the Gridlife event in Michigan. It was great to see a new group of enthusiasts and introduce them to Hyundai’s N vehicles and our race cars. We had a double podium run at Watkins Glen last year, and we’re going to try to get back up on the podium again in 2022! The only new thing for this season will be our Elantra N TCR, and we know it’s good.”
Michael Lewis: “We are back to racing and it is at one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. Watkins Glen is just so flowing and fast. It also provides some good racing as you can use the draft going into the bus stop. Our BHA #1 Hyundai Elantra N strong, as it takes the corners well, but can also hold its own on the straights. We’ll see how it goes, but we will be giving it our best effort!”
#2 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 8th Ranked: 12th 810 pts.
Ryan Norman: “Really looking forward to getting back to racing and Watkins Glen! It is one of the best tracks in the country and we have had great success here last time as a team. We have been making great improvements over the last couple races and feel we are on track to be able to have a good result. I have been in the Simulator every day in preparation and we are ready to give it everything as our luck on the #2 hasn’t been great this year and we will be looking to turn it around with a win!”
AJ Muss: “It’s going to be an exciting race at Watkins Glen. Although we’ve had the pace and some strong performances, we’ve been in caught up in a lot of tough cirumstances on track this year, that haven’t gone our way. It’s a new slate at Watkins and both Ryan and I love this track. Our Elantra N TCR is super in high speed sections and stable in mid-to low speed sections. Watkins Glen is a good track to let the Elantra show its speed and stretch its legs. The team has been working really hard and we are ready to show everyone how strong the #2 Elantra N TCR and the Bryan Herta Autosport team really are.”
#33 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 3rd Ranked: 8th 900 pts.
Mark Wilkins: “Coming off of the incredible GridLife event with Hyundai at Gingerman Raceway earlier this month, I’m totally fired up and ready to dive into the heart of our race season! I love taking people for hot laps in Hyundai’s N cars and seeing how blown away they are with their performance.. music and motorsport seemed about perfect. Looking forward to Watkins Glen, I’m just incredibly excited to get back behind the wheel and back to racing after missing the Mid Ohio event for a family emergency. Maisie, our daughter is doing very well and I just want to say Thank You for all of the well wishes and support during that difficult time.”
Robert Wickens: “This is going to be my first time to Watkins Glen. It’s a track I have always wanted to try so I am really looking forward to getting back on track after a bit of a break. It will also be great to have Mark back as my team mate. We will be looking to continue to build our momentum and hopefully get ourselves back on the podium.”
#54 Universal Coating Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 6th Best Finish: 6th Ranked: 8th 960 pts.
Michael Johnson: “Watkins Glen has always been a super iconic track that always puts on good racing. I have had success here in the past and always look forward to coming back. I love the high speed and elevation. I know our Hyundai Elentra N TCR will be good at the end of a stint so I’m looking forward to getting a really good result!”
Stephen Simpson: “Traditionally Watkins Glen has been a great track for us, some of our best resutls have come there, including our podium in 2018. I’ll miss the four-hour format as it is such a great racetrack, I always enjoy the extra race length there, and I am sure the shorter race will be full of action. We’ll keep it clean and shoot for our best result of the season.”
#77 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 7th Ranked: 11th 850 pts.
Mason Filippi: “Watkins Glen is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. Tyler and I are back in the ElantraN TCR which has characteristics that are fantastic for a highspeed track like the Glen. Making sure you always keep your momentum is key around there as it’s a fast track with technical corners highspeed corners.”
Tyler Maxson: “”I am using this weekend as a reset on our season. We have had a ton of bad luck this year but Watkins Glen is a track that I enjoy and one that I have looked forward to for quite some time. I have definitely done my fair share of iRacing laps in the downtime since Mid-Ohio so I feel ready to go. Last year we had a very fast Hyundai Veloster at this facility so I am expecting the same sort of pace in the Elantra as we look to climb to the top step of the podium”
#98 Elantra N TCR
2022: Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Ranked: 4th 1060 pts.
Harry Gottsacker IV: “Watkins Glen is always a race on the calendar that I really look forward to. We had a competitive Elantra N TCR last year and I think it will even be better with all the development work we have done since then. Watkins Glen has a lot of high speed corners and I think our big advantage will be in the bus stop and carousel sections. Outside of the track, I always find time to enjoy the outdoors in the Finger Lakes region and get out on the water for some fishing.”
Parker Chase: “It feels like it’s been a while since we were last out at Mid Ohio so I’m excited to head out to Watkins Glen for the back to back weekends. I think Watkins Glen really suits the Elantra well with the high speed corners and we were fast last year no doubt. Luckily I’ve had a few NASCAR races to keep be busy between then and now to keep me ready to roll from lap one.”

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