2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
January 24-25, 2019
Racetrack: Daytona International Speedway
3.56-mile “Roval”, features 12 turns
Race: Friday, January 25, 2019 at 12:15pm
TV: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 1pm on NBC Sports Network
Live updates are available throughout the weekend on social media and www.bryanhertaautosport.com
CHAMPIONS: Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb Agajanian won the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge TCR team and manufacturer (Hyundai) championships in their rookie season. Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis won eight of 13 races driving the Hyundai i30 N.
New for 2019: Bryan Herta Autosport moves to the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge with a two-car entry. Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis will drive the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian entry while Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi will join the team to drive the #21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
Veloster N: The Veloster N will make its American debut at Daytona International Speedway.
What is N? Introducing Hyundai's new high-performance series: N. It's the first letter of
Namyang – the location of Hyundai’s global R&D facility, where the models are created. And it's also the first letter of Nürburgring, the epic track where they're further tested and developed.
The goal of N: to send a race-inspired thrill surging through you the moment you grab the wheel.
Endurance: Endurance racing is a new challenge for the Bryan Herta Autosport team. They competed and won their first and only endurance endeavor to date: The SRO California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca last October.
TCR at Daytona…How it Works: From the showroom to the speedway, Each TCR (Touring Car Racing) entry will receive six sets of Michelin tires. Each driver must complete at least forty minutes of drive time. The MICHELIN Pilot Challenge has two classes, GS (Grand Sport) and TCR.
Mark Wilkins: “Daytona is an incredible circuit. I’ve been fortunate to compete in many Rolex 24 events over the past 15 years with the highlight being a class victory in the PC class in 2014. I’ve certainly run a lot of laps at Daytona but none in a Veloster N TCR, so I’m excited. On the track transition from the oval to the road course: “Based on our experience last year with the Hyundai i30N, I think the transition in this car will be quite good. The Veloster is aerodynamic and has good down force, so stability will be a strong point for us. We will be able to be aggressive on entry and confident the car will be stable going into turn one.”
Michael Lewis: “Arriving at this track is an experience, there is an overwhelming feeling here. It’s a massive venue with a very colorful history and driving here is an honor. Although it will be my first time driving here at Daytona, ovals are very familiar to me with my dirt track experience. I’ve never raced on an oval/road course combination and it is going to be neat to combine the two. The Veloster N has a strong following and we look forward to continuing our successful program in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge. Fans who follow our season can relate the Veloster N on the street to the Veloster N TCR that we use for racing purposes, and I think that is very cool. Additionally, the endurance race format with live pit stops and driver changes in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge is a fun and new endeavor for our team. Our engineers, management, mechanics, and drivers will work to bring attention to the fact that Hyundai not only builds efficient and economic cars, but also performance cars. I am looking forward to racing hard against our competition.”
Harry Gottsacker: “It’s always been a goal of mine to compete in endurance racing, so I am excited about our program in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. I’ve done one other endurance race, the IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Atlanta last year and we finished fourth. The longer races take a bit of a different approach, patience is important and so is communication and teamwork. I enjoy having a co-driver and I am looking forward to driving with Mason. This is new territory for us as a team, but I think we have a very competitive package with the Veloster N, and I know we have the resources as a group to do well.”
Mason Filippi: “I am looking forward to driving with such a strong team and the Veloster N TCR will be very competitive. The transition to IMSA’s format and long races presents a few more challenges that I am eagerly anticipating. Our focus today will be to execute and learn. I think we’re all anxious to take the green flag and get after it, but we’ll have to look at the big picture, calm the horses for a few laps and find our baseline. After that, game on!”
Bryan Herta Autosport
Founded in 2009, Bryan Herta Autosport has grown from a single car Indy-Lights team into a championship winning auto racing franchise. Led by IndyCar and Sports Car star Bryan Herta, Bryan Herta Autosport has won races in every discipline they’ve entered, including Indy Lights, Indy Car, Global Rally Cross, and Pirelli World Challenge. BHA rose to prominence after winning the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in what was the final race of the Centennial Era, a celebration of 100 years of racing at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with driver Dan Wheldon. Five years late, BHA partnered with Andretti Autosport, and defied the odds again, winning their second Indianapolis 500 with rookie driver Alexander Rossi. BHA entered the Global Rally Cross Championship in 2015 under the name Bryan Herta Rallysport, scoring multiple podiums and wins. In 2018, BHA entered the Pirelli World Challenge in partnership with Hyundai and dominated the TCR class, winning seven races with drivers #98 Michael Lewis and #99 Mark Wilkins in the Hyundai i30N TCR, securing the team and manufacturers championships in the process. For 2019, BHA continues its’ successful partnership with Andretti Autosport to field the #98 U.S. Concrete Honda w/ Curb Agajanian in the IndyCar series for driver Marco Andretti. Also, in 2019, BHA takes their championship winning Hyundai TCR team to the IMSA Pilot Challenge where they will enter the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins and the #21 for Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi. Bryan Herta Autosport is the U.S. sales agent and parts support representative of Hyundai TCR race cars for customer teams. For more information, visit www.BryanHertaAutosport.com.
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.
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