The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series held its first-ever doubleheader race weekend, competing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Typically a spring race that features rain and colder temperatures, perfect racing weather greeted the rescheduled event. Bryan Herta Autosport’s 4-car Hyundai Veloster N TCR team raced over 150 laps each over the 2.2-mile, 13 turn road course.
Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase led the Hyundai’s on Saturday, finishing fourth in the #29 Vertical Bridge Veloster N TCR, which catapulted the young guns from 11th to sixth in the championship. Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman led the way on Sunday in Race 2, where they finished second and extended their championship lead. Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis earned a pair of top five finishes and bumped up one position in the standings to second. Previous points leaders Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins are due for better luck in the coming races as the #21 car finished outside of the top five the last three races because of situations beyond their control.
With three races remaining in the 2020 IMPC championship, Hyundai leads the manufacturers standings. BHA returns to action at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in the Fox Factory 120 on October 16.
|#21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker
|Race 1: Saturday, September 26, 2020
Qualified: 6th (Wilkins) Finished: 6th Championship: 2nd (169 pts)
Mark Wilkins: “It was fun to start a race again, it has been a while and I felt like I had to refresh myself on all of the tricks. Remembering when to get on it, where the starting line is, and keeping it straight in the mayhem
is always fun. It’s a bit of a different skill set, but great practice. We brought the car home clean and ready for another race tomorrow. It was great qualifying out there tonight. I definitely noticed all of the campfires and the fans out there, it is awesome.”
Harry Gottsacker: “It was a little bit of a tough day for 21 car. Mark had an awesome first stint, it was clean and consistent. He prepared me well for my stint and gave me great feedback to get ready. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the track position today, we weren’t able to race with the frontrunners. Ready to get back out there tomorrow and bring this Hyundai Veloster to the front.”
Race 2: Sunday, September 27, 2020
Qualified: 4th (Wilkins) Finished: 9th
Mark Wilkins: “It was a tough race for us today. I was running in second for most of my stint; I was settling into the groove, and our car was fantastic. I thought we were going to be in a strong position for a top three finish. Harry got in for the second half and as he always does, he put in a really solid performance. He’s a very calm person, but man he’s on fire in that Veloster N TCR car. Ultimately, we had an issue that ended our day early, which is very unfortunate, and we’ll take a hit in the points. We’ll be back stronger for Atlanta.”
Harry Gottsacker: “It was definitely a great start here in Race 2 at Mid-Ohio. Our Veloster N TCR was on rails and Mark quickly passed his way to second after starting fourth. Once I got in the car, there was definitely a lot of slicing and dicing out there, it was fun, and the car was awesome. Unfortunately, we were forced to retire early, but I have great confidence in everyone at BHA and Hyundai that we’re going to get this rocket ship back out there even stronger for the next one.”