Victorious at VIR,
Hagler and Lewis Score their First Win of the Season
Maxson, Filippi charge to second place
Defending series champions, and current points leaders Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis scored their first victory of the season in the series penultimate round on Saturday at VIRginia International Raceway. Tyler Maxson and Mason Filippi finished second in the #77 Elantra N TCR.
It was a perfect day for the #1 Elantra N TCR crew and drivers. Taylor Hagler drove a stellar opening stint, racing from eighth to fourth in the first 54 minutes when she pitted to turn the car over to co-driver Michael Lewis. The pitstop was flawless, rewarding the drivers with an extra position, Lewis returned to the track in fourth position.
From there he had a hard-fought battle with Hyundai driver Rory van der Steur in the #19 Veloster, and then BHA sister car Parker Chase in the #98 Elantra N TCR. Front row starters Chase and teammate Harry Gottsacker had a strong car, and led 31 laps. It was an exciting battle for the lead, as Lewis and Chase sparred for position, but ultimately Lewis passed Chase for good with 16 laps remaining.
A master at tire managment and fuel saving, Lewis was able to race to the checkers when most of the field yearned for a yellow flag to conserve fuel. The yellow flag came with less than ten laps to go, then returned to green for a two-lap shoot-out at the end. Lewis had a strong re-start and prevailed for the win.
Hagler and Lewis entered VIR with just a 30-point lead in the series standings. The defending champions knew finishing ahead of the second place Alfa Romeo at VIR was imperative. Their win at VIR extended their series points lead to 100 point clear of the Alfa Romeo with just one race to go.
Mason Filippi and Tyler Maxson have experienced the throws of highs and lows this season. They opened the year strong, with each driver winning a pole position in the first two races at Daytona and Sebring. Challenges prevailed mid-season, but they’ve come on strong in the last string of races with a third at Lime Rock, seventh at Road America, and their best result of 2022, second at VIR.
The series finale, the Fox Factory 120 at Road Atlanta is Friday, September 30th at 1:10pm. Watch live on NBC’s Peacock.
- Hyundai leads the manufacturers’ standings with 2980 points.
- BHA led a total of 48 of the 57-lap race. The #98 Elantra led 31 laps (Gottsacker 22/Chase 9) and Michael Lewis led 17 laps in the #1 Elantra N TCR.
- The #98 team leads the VP Front Runners Challenge.
Bryan Herta Autosport Results from
Round 9 at VIRgina International Raceway
1st: #1 Elantra N TCR – Taylor Hagler (started) and Michael Lewis(finished)
2nd: #77 Elantra N TCR – Mason Filippi (started) and Tyler Maxson (finished)
5th: #54 Veloster N TCR – Michael Johnson (Started) and Stephen Simpson (finished)
7th: #2 Elantra N TCR – AJ Muss (started) and Ryan Norman (finished)
8th: #98 Elantra N TCR – Harry Gottsacker (started) and Parker Chase (finished)
11th: #33 Elantra N TCR – Mark Wilkins (started) and Robert Wickens (DNF – Electrical)
Current IMSA Michelin Points Standings
1st: Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis 2620 pts
3rd: Harry Gottsacker and Parker Chase 2330 pts
4th: Michael Johnson and Stephen Simipson 2330 pts
5th: Robert Wickens 2320 pts
8th: Mark Wilkins 2120 pts*
9th: Mason Filippi and Tyler Maxson 2110 pts
11th: AJ Muss and Ryan Norman 1980 pts
*Mark Wilkins did not participate in the race at Mid Ohio, therefore he is ranked differntly than co-driver Robert Wickens.