Mark Wilkins records another 2nd in Round 10 TCR Competition
GRANTSVILLE, Utah (August 12, 2018) – Sunday’s TCR 40-minute sprint race featured the popular and unique “standing start” at Utah Motorsports Campus and Michael Lewis timed it to perfection in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR race car on his way to a fourth TCR victory of the year in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Utah.
The young Californian enjoyed a perfect weekend in Utah with two TCR race wins and two pole positions as he makes a run for the coveted inaugural TCR Drivers’ championship with just two races remaining in the 12-event tour. Lewis now sits second in the TCR points, just seven markers back for point leader Ryan Eversley.
The final TCR doubleheader of the season will be held on Sept. 1-2 at the famed Watkins Glen International road course in New York state.
On Sunday, Lewis repeated his dominant performance from Saturday with a superb launch from the standing pole position and beat his BHA teammate Mark Wilkins to the first turn of the 3.048-mile, 14-corner road circuit southwest of Salt Lake City.
Wilkins, a three-time race winner this year, pressured his teammate throughout the 20-lap feature event in a hot Sunday afternoon sun. The driver of the No. 99 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR hung just a few lengths off of Lewis’ car’s rear bumper before settling for the runner-up spot for the second straight day, just 1.065 seconds behind.
Today’s BHA 1-2 finish was the team’s sixth top-two performance in the first ten races of the year. The 1-2 showing also extended the BHA point lead in the TCR Team standings (177-140) and Hyundai’s advantage in the TCR Manufacturers’ championship.
“The standing starts are a little more intense,” said Lewis. “You have a few more things to do than when you have a rolling start. But our Hyundai's have a really good launch and a real handbrake to help with the launch. We were going hard for a while and then, all of a sudden, it felt weird as if I had a flat tire or had come in contact with some oil or something. It made me go really wide in the esses. It was definitely intense out there but I'm glad we got back some of the grip there in the end.”
Wilkins, currently third in the TCR standings, made sure that Eversley never really got close to Lewis, even after a late race yellow flag. And the Canadian racer is still in the point fight enter the Watkins Glen finale weekend.
“The i30 was great,” said Wilkins. “We had some BoP adjustments last night which added some weight which we definitely felt, but we had a great start anyway. Both Michael and I got off the line dead even and the cars ran flawless for us again today, albeit sliding around a little bit more today so we had to be a little bit more careful with the tires, but another 1-2 for Bryan Herta Autosport.
“This is a great track, we had a lot of fun. The surface was a little bit different today for sure. It was pretty good for a few laps there but there were a few laps where both Michael and I felt like there was just no grip. There are always a few variables to deal with on a late restart, but our cars are able to handle it.”
The Utah TCR doubleheader races will be shown on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, August 26, at 4 p.m. EDT. The Watkins Glen TCR races on Sept. 1-2 will have live streaming on www.world-challenge.com and the World Challenge channel on YouTube.
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About Pirelli World Challenge (PWC): The Pirelli World Challenge is a North American auto racing series launched in 1990 by the Sports Car Club of America. It has been managed by WC Vision since 2008, and sanctioned by the United States Auto Club since 2017. The series consists of seven driver classifications and several classes of vehicles, including: Grand Touring, GT Cup, GTS, TCR, TC and TCA. The series frequently races alongside the IndyCar Series on race event weekends. Each Pirelli World Challenge Touring TCR season consists of six event weekends with doubleheader races for a total of 12 rounds. Each weekend has one standing start as well as one rounding start. Each TCR race has a maximum 40-minute time limit.
About Bryan Herta Autosport
Co-Founded by Bryan Herta in 2009, Bryan Herta Autosport has grown from a single-car Indy Lights team into a world-renowned auto-racing franchise. The team made its first foray into IndyCar action in 2010 with an entry in the Indianapolis 500 while continuing to run a full-time multi-car Indy Lights program. The 2011 Indianapolis 500 was the final race of the Centennial Era, a celebration of 100 years of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Also known as “The Most Important Race in History,” the 100th anniversary of the inaugural 1911 race was the second IndyCar race in which Herta Racing competed.
Five years later, Bryan Herta Autosport, while partnered with Andretti Autosport, defied the odds again and won their second Indianapolis 500 with rookie driver Alexander Rossi. In 2015, Bryan Herta Rallysport made its debut in the exciting Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship.
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