A weekend of bests for Taylor Hagler and the No. 77 L.A. Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR came to a premature end on Sunday in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).
The race weekend began with two practice sessions on Friday for Hagler and teammate Ryan Eversley who was adding another career milestone with his 100th start. With variable weather conditions and a truncated practice opening the weekend, the duo clocked 21 total laps in preparation for Sunday’s qualifying and race.
“Our practice sessions were very productive,” said Hagler. “We worked through our list while tuning the car. I still have room for improvement on the back side of the track, but we are in a good position going into qualifying.”
Kicking off Sunday with an early morning qualifying session, Hagler was tasked with locking in the starting position for the No. 77 L.A. Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR. The Honda driver excelled in the 15-minute session, setting her fastest lap of the weekend of 1:58.792-seconds. That qualifying time secured ninth on the grid and marked her best IMPC start of the 2020 season in her IMSA rookie campaign.
Taking the green flag for the race in the hottest conditions of the weekend, Hagler was prepared to capitalize in the opening stages of the race. The young racer didn’t get the chance to do so, as her race ended early with an opening-lap incident. A competitor went off in the high-speed esses and Hagler had no way to avoid the spinning car, causing race-ending damage for the No. 77 Honda Civic Type R TCR as the entry was classified 11th.
“Starting the race, I had a lot of confidence in the No. 77 L.A. Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR,” said Hagler. “My first lap was going well, and I felt that we had the speed and consistency to make something of our race. In the esses, another car dropped a wheel off track and they lost control. I attempted to weave around the mess by going towards the right, when their car came directly at me. I was stuck with nowhere to go. Ryan (Eversley) and I were determined to make this race our turning point in the season. We had the car to put together a good result. I am more confident leaving this weekend and I will take that with me to Road Atlanta.”
Hagler returns to IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the second four-hour endurance event of the 2020 season September 5-7th.