The Hertas and Kurtz Take TCR Class Win in first U.S. Endurance Race for Hyundai i30 N
SALINAS, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2018) – Making the team’s inaugural endurance sports car event Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian scored the TCR class victory in the SRO California 8 Hours with drivers Bryan Herta, Colton Herta and George Kurtz piloting the No. 98 BHA Hyundai i30 N TCR.
The victory was the eighth of the 2018 sports car season for Bryan Herta Autosport and marked the first U.S. endurance contest for the successful Hyundai i30 N TCR machine. BHA won seven races in the Pirelli World Challenge this year with Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins and the squad captured the TCR Team points championship. In addition, Hyundai won the TCR Manufacturers’ point title.
On Sunday, the driving trio of the father-son Herta combination and sports car regular Kurtz came from the back of the 32-car field to capture the TCR honors at the historic 2.238-mile, 11-turn Monterey Valley road circuit. In the Hyundai’s initial eight-hour race performance Sunday, the No. 98 car complete a sensational 276 laps with eight pit stops and solid driving changes.
“It was an awesome day for us and I’m really happy how the race turned out for our No. 98 car,” said team owner Bryan Herta, a two-time CART IndyCar race winner at Laguna Seca. “We had great pit stops and the car was fast all day. I got knocked off the track once, but we didn’t any trouble other than that. Hats off to the team and the drivers. This event was our first endurance race and the first for the Hyundai i30 N in North America. It performed flawlessly. It was a great run for our Hyundai i30 N since we beat a lot of cars overall that we shouldn’t have had any business beating.
“I really enjoyed racing with my son (Colton). It is always nice when you can take home a trophy and spray some champagne at the end of the day. It's a shame the other (No. 98) car had their issues early. But we've shown that the Hyundai is an excellent car for endurance racing too.”
Kurtz, driving the Hyundai i30 N for first time, was impressed with car and BHA team performance Sunday in his debut racing with the Herta father-son team.
“I really had a great time racing with Bryan and Colton this weekend,” said Kurtz, the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTSA series champion. “The car was fantastic all weekend and faster than many of the GT4 cars in the field. This race was my first long endurance event and it was my first with the front-wheel drive race car. The team was excellent on the pit stops and the car ran very well all day. It was fun to step to the top of the winner’s circle podium.”
While the No. 98 BHA Hyundai i30 N team took the category win, it was a tougher day for the No. 99 BHA Hyundai i30 N TCR car and drivers Lewis, Wilkins and young Mason Filippi. The No. 99 car was forced out of the event after 58 laps due to an incident in the famed “Corkscrew” portion of the track. Two GT cars spun in front of Lewis and collected the No. 99 machine in the mishap.
Due to the car’s front-end damage, the No. 99 Hyundai i30 N was forced to retire from the event.
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. In 2018, Bryan Herta Autosport make a sensational introduction to the Pirelli World Challenge TCR class with drivers Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis. Wilkins scored three race wins with Lewis collecting four victories. The BHA squad won the TCR Team point championship and led Hyundai to the TCR Manufacturers’ series crown.
About Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America is focused on delivering an outstanding customer experience grounded in design leadership, engineering excellence and exceptional value in every vehicle we sell. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to deliver peace of mind to our customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide with the majority sold in the U.S. built at U.S. manufacturing facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.
SOURCE: Bryan Herta Autosport