Watkins Glen, NY (June 25, 2022) – Robert Wickens and Mark Wilkins raced to a momentous victory Saturday, winning the Tioga Downs Casino 120, round five of the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Racing at “The Glen” for the first time in his storied career, it was Wickens’ fifth race using hand controls, and his first victory since returning to competition after his IndyCar accident on August 19, 2018. The accident claimed Wickens’ ability to use his legs, but his talent, focus and determination to return to victory circle remain stronger than ever, “Anytime I compete, I compete with the intent to win. Mark and I and the team have been working diligently to get the most out of the car and to execute clean races every weekend. To get this win is very satisfying.” said Wickens.
Wickens started the two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race from the second row, in the third position. He took the lead on lap 18 and charged to a 10-second lead over the field when he came in for his second pitstop and turned the cockpit over to Wilkins for the final 55-minute push to the checkers. Despite several late race restarts and a charge from the #5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce, Wilkins held on for the historic victory.
AJ Muss and 2020 TCR Champion Ryan Norman earned their first podium as teammates. The #2 Elantra N TCR has shown its pace all season, and the cards finally fell their way at The Glen. Muss joined the BHA squad this year and opened his season by qualifying on the front row. This podium finish was the first of his IMSA career.
Mason Filippi and Tyler Maxson earned their third and the teams fourth pole position in five races this season. The pair looked set for their best finish of the year, leading the first 13 laps, and running inside the top five until a mechanical issue retired the #77 Elantra N TCR late in the race.
The Bryan Herta Autosport team is back in action next weekend, this time at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The race will air live on NBC’s Peacock at 4:10pm ET on Saturday, July 1st.
Wickens/Wilkins Win B-roll:
Bryan Herta Autosport Race Results:
P.1 Robert Wickens and Mark Wilkins, #33 Elantra N TCR
P.3 AJ Muss and Ryan Norman, #2 Elantra N TCR
P. 5 Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson, #54 Universal Coating Elantra N TCR
P. 6 Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis, #1 Elantra N TCR
P. 8 Parker Chase and Harry Gottsacker, #98 Elantra N TCR
P. 15 Mason Filippi and Tyler Maxson, #77 Elantra N TCR