2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
The Fox Factory 120
#21 Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi
#98 Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis
October 10-11, 2019
Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
2.54-mile road course, features 12 turns
Race: Friday, October 11, 2019 at 1:25 pm EST (2 Hours)
TV: LIVE on IMSA.TV, IMSA Radio at www.IMSA.com or NBC Sports Network October 17, 2019 at 7pm ET
Live updates are available throughout the weekend on social media and www.bryanhertaautosport.com
Manufacturer Glory: Despite leading the team and driver’s championships, the team is putting extra emphasis on helping Hyundai bring home their first manufacturer’s championship in IMSA competition. Although there are just two Hyundai entries in the field, Hyundai is tied with Honda for second in the manufacturer’s championship and just four points behind Audi. There are six Honda’s and four Audi’s vying for the title.
Eye on the Prize: Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis, drivers of the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR head into the final round of the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with an 11-point lead in the championship. Teammates Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi rank fourth, just five points out of second.
A Sensational Season: Ten months ago, Hyundai and Bryan Herta Autosport made their IMSA debut in Daytona. It was a challenging debut for the IMSA rookies; an endurance race in a car they had just become acquainted with. Since then, they’ve taken the season by storm, showing the speed and reliability of the Hyundai Veloster N TCR, scoring three victories, four pole positions and 11 top five finishes.
A New Racer in Town: Congratulations to Mark Wilkins and his wife Leah. They welcomed their second child, a son, Breen on Sunday evening, October 6th. Chances are high that Breen will have a need for speed…given his father Mark is a Sports Car Champion and his uncle is Porsche factory driver Patrick Long!
Defining the N Brand: The N brand is Hyundai's high-performance series of vehicles. N is the first letter of Namyang - the location of Hyundai’s global R&D facility, where the models are created. It is also the first letter of Nürburgring, the epic track where they are further tested and developed. N Line trims add sporty design elements and refined powertrain/chassis upgrades to existing Hyundai products. N Line is part of Hyundai’s ‘N’ product portfolio that includes the brand’s growing ultimate ‘N’ range of vehicles: Veloster N, i30 N, i30 Fastback N and Elantra GT N Line.
The goal of N? To send a race-inspired thrill surging through you the moment you grab the wheel.
2019 FIA Motorsports Games: Mason Filippi will represent the United States of America in the first annual FIA World Motorsports Games. Filippi will drive a Hyundai i30N in the TCR category for the Italian team…Target Competition. The games will be held at the Vellelunga Circuit with opening ceremonies scheduled for October 30th in Rome.
Pole Position: Next Level: The popular Motor Trend series, Pole Position: Next Level takes viewers behind the scenes of BHA and their Hyundai effort in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. The sixth episode will be released today and chronicles the last three races, including the victory at Road America for rookies Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker. All six episodes are also available under the media page at BryanHertaAutosport.com.
#98 Mark Wilkins on preparing for the 2019 finale: “My focus heading into Road Atlanta is the same as it has been all season; an emphasis on high level execution. Our processes and team dynamics have been strong all year, so I don’t see any reason for changes. This is another race weekend that happens to be our last of the year and we have some big goals we’d like to accomplish. I can’t say enough about this Bryan Herta Autosport team and especially the crew; it has certainly been a collective effort by all that has made the season to date rewarding and fun! I’m excited for the final race and look forward to ending the year on a high note! Mark Wilkins on competing with Michael Lewis for the Championship in 2019 as opposed to competing against him in 2018: I really enjoyed racing against Michael last season and always felt like although we were in different cars we were always focused on getting one of our two Hyundai’s on the top step of the podium. I’ve learned a lot from Michael, and we’ve had a great deal of fun these past two seasons. I’ve said this many times, but I’m honestly not sure there’s a nicer, more genuine guy out there than Michael; then he puts his helmet on and it’s full attack mode! Totally awesome! Michael and I are always on the same page in regard to car setup and this is important to dialing the car in quickly and efficiently on race weekends.”
#98 Michael Lewis: "The final race of the season is now here, and it's another race for us to do what we've been doing all year, which is working hard and executing well. Hyundai has given our Bryan Herta Autosport team a great car and the team has been maximizing the set-up and providing fast pit stops all year long. I am so impressed with the team's performance in preparing our cars to be quick and reliable, and for their execution of perfect pit stops. This team is like a machine! This race at Road Atlanta will be close for sure as there are many cars who are able to win. Road Atlanta is a fast track with many fast turns, so that should benefit our Veloster N, but we will find out once we get on the track. It has been an incredible season racing with Mark (Wilkins) in the No. 98 Veloster N TCR as he is so fast and experienced, and alongside Mason and Harry in the No. 21 Veloster N TCR. If you are at the race, please stop by our pit area to check out the Veloster N race cars!"
#21 Harry Gottsacker on his expectations coming into the 2019 season: “My expectations coming into the season were to learn the new Hyundai Veloster N TCR and to put the car on the podium. This was also one of the first times that I had experienced teammates to learn from and measure up to, so I wanted to maximize that opportunity. Michael and Mark have been supportive of us as they have a year of experience in the car and are winning drivers in the category. Winning the race at Road America was really the high point of the season and put us into championship contention, and I wasn’t expecting that.” Harry Gottsacker on the 2019 season finale: “I raced at Road Atlanta last year in the IMSA Prototype Challenge and really like the track. The track is very fast, but also has some nice technical parts that really challenge you. In a weird way, it seems like a big karting track to me. I’m looking forward to tackling it in our Veloster N TCR and finishing the year in the top three.”
#21 Mason Filippi on his expectations coming into the 2019 season: “My expectations coming into the rookie season of IMSA were to have a good season with such an incredible team and car. They have been far exceeded! Bryan Herta Autosport and the Hyundai Veloster N TCR have been amazing this season, and I have learned so much from being on a team with such great drivers. Mark, Michael, Harry, and Bryan have all helped me this season to become a better driver! I am very grateful for the opportunity to be on such an amazing team with great spirits and teammates, it really feels like home. IMSA has been extremely competitive this year and I love how hard everyone races. We will be separated by tenths and still have the respect from other IMSA Drivers. I am extremely happy with how this season has gone and I cannot wait for Road Atlanta, which will be a new track for me.”
About 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 Michelin Pilot Challenge where they enter the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins and the #21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi. With two races to go, BHA sits first and second in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Championship. The #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR driven by Lewis and Wilkins leads the with two poles and two victories. The #21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR, driven by Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker is just five points behind in second. 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.
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.