Wickens on a Role, Wins First Pole
BHA Locks Out First Two Rows at Lime Rock Park
Lakeville, Connecticut (July 15, 2022) – Today is “N Day” the official day celebrating Hyundai’s N performance line of vehicles. The BHA team honored N Day with an exclamation point, clinching the first two rows for tomorrow’s Lime Rock 120 grid at Lime Rock Park.
Robert Wickens topped the charts, winning his first IMSA pole position and his first pole position driving with hand controls. It took just four laps for Wickens to set the pole winning time of 54.048 at 98.448 mph. His time was the fifth quickest overall, he outqaulified 18 competitors from the faster GS class. It’s been a month full of firsts for Wickens and his teammate Mark Wilkins. The pair won at Watkins Glen, their first win of the season and Wickens’ first as a disabled racer. The following weekend, Wickens missed qualifying as he and his wife Karli welcomed their first child, Wesley Joseph. The next day Wickens arrived back at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park just in time to earn their second victory of the season, a joyous occasion for the Canadian driver pairing and their passionate fans on home turf. The win in Canada was all the more impressive as it came from the back as Wickens was forced to start last as a consequence for missing qualifying.
Wickens welcomes his front row start for tomorrow, “I’m happy, I pushed a lot, saving that left front which seems to be pretty important here, and I think I did a good job of that. Fortunately, we were able to set that time pretty quickly and then park it, great job to everyone at BHA. This place is awesome you really have to push here. Traffic will be an issue on such a small track, so I’m glad to start up front, and the #33 Hyundai #Elantra #N #TCR is dialed in!”
Harry Gottsacker IV will start second in the #98 Elantra N TCR. Gottsacker and Chase have one victory and one podium so far this season and are currently ranked third in the standings.
Rounding out the top-three, it was a great day for Michael Johnson in the #54 Universal Coating Elantra N TCR. The trailblazer for racing with hand controls, Johnson earned his best qualifying result of 2022 today at Lime Rock Park, the same track he and co-driver Stephen Simpson won at in 2018. Johnson’s career best start was at Daytona in 2019 when he won the pole position.
2022 two-time pole winner, Mason Filippi will start fourth. His co-driver, Tyler Maxson has also qualified first on two occasions this season and will take over at the half-way point.
AJ Muss qualified sixth, his fourth top six start of 2022 in the #2 Elantra N TCR. Muss and co-driver Ryan Norman will contend for their second podium of the season.
2021 Lime Rock Park race winners and current championship leaders Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis will start ninth, based on Hagler’s qualifying time of 55.094 seconds. Hagler made history when she became the first woman to win a IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Lime Rock Park last year. Michael Lewis holds the track qualifying record from his pole winning run in 2019 at 54.034 second.
The green flag falls for the 2-hour Lime Rock Park 120 at 11:05 am ET and will be televised live on NBC’s Peacock TV. Live radio coverage in addition to live timing and scoring will be available at IMSA.com.
*For the first time ever, two paraplegic race car drivers will start from the first two rows tomorrow, in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Lime Rock Park 120 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT.
**Hyundai’s web series, “Next Level” released the first episode of the 2022 season today, titled “Drive to Three-Peat.” The episode takes a look at BHA’s expansion to six cars and the excitement and challenges behind the first two races of the season. Watch here:https://www.youtube.com/
Lime Rock Park 120
Bryan Herta Autosport Starting Line-Up
P.1 Robert Wickens and Mark Wilkins #33 Elantra N TCR
P.2 Harry Gottsacker IV and Parker Chase #98 Elantra N TCR
P.3 Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson #54 Universal Coating Elantra N TCR
P.4 Mason Filippi and Tyler Maxson #77 Elantra N TCR
P.6 AJ Muss and Ryan Norman #2 Elantra N TCR
P.9 Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis #1 Elantra N TCR