|Making Dreams a Reality: Bryan and Colton are not the only drivers making dreams a reality this week. Bryan Herta Autosport teammates Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi are realizing their dream of co-driving at Nürburgring. They will race the Hyundai i30 with Hyundai Driving Experience and Ring Racing this Saturday, September 8th in the six-hour VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series event. The pair visited the track four years ago and vowed to return to compete, “Four years ago Mason and I decided on a whim to head to Germany for some laps around the Nürburgring. We booked travel, rented some cars and two weeks later we were there! The experience for both of us was surreal and when it came time to leave, we vowed to get back and go racing! Well, it took a few years but it’s happening and it’s going to be awesome,” said Wilkins. This weekend’s six-hour race on Saturday will be Wilkins’ first time racing at the “Green Hell,” therefore he will have to participate in mandatory licensing courses prior to competition. “I will complete my DPN Permit B training Thursday and Friday and if all goes well, Mason and I will flow straight into the race weekend! We will run NLS 6 which is a six-hour in a Hyundai of course! Ultimately, I’d love to turn this bucket list experience into next year’s Nürburgring 24! For now, I’m excited to just get there and soak in the experience! There is truly nothing like it!”
This is Filippi’s seventh trip to Nürburgring this year, as he was part of Hyundai’s “Team USA” effort at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in May. He completed all his prerequisite licensing at that time and finished second in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, co-driving the #831 Elantra N TCR with his American BHA teammates, Michael Lewis, Harry Gottsacker and Taylor Hagler. “I am grateful and excited to be racing at Nürburgring with one of my best friends and teammate, Mark Wilkins at my favorite track in the world,” said Filippi. “I’ve had an appetite to get back on that track in a Hyundai since the checkered flag fell on the 24 (Hours of Nürburgring) in May, I just can’t get enough!”
Filippi and Wilkins have two wins in the #98 Elantra N TCR car and are currently ranked third in the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with two races remaining. They return from Germany and will head straight back to IMSA action next week as the series makes their debut at The Brickyard, in the four-hour TireRack.com “Battle of the Bricks” on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 16th.