Round: 4 of 10 races in the 2020 Michelin Pilot Challenge
Racetrack: Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Danville, VA 3.27-mile road course, featuring 17 turns
Race: Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 2:55 pm ET (11:55 pm PST) (2 Hours)
TV: LIVE on NBC Gold Track Pass
Live timing and scoring from each session available at www.IMSA.com
Live radio commentary for every session at www.IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com
BHA FAST FACTS:
#21 Car Leads: Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins lead the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with 90 points, five points over teammates Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman. Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis are tied for third.
Hyundai 3-Peat?: It's been a clean sweep for Hyundai since IMPC returned to racing last month at Sebring. Will they make it three-in-a-row for Hyundai this weekend at VIR? Hyundai leads Audi in the manufacturers championship by five points, 102-97.
Newcomers Out Front: Gabby Chaves, Ryan Norman, Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman are new to the BHA team this season, but it hasn't taken them long to find the front of the field. Gabby and Ryan have led every race and scored their first victory in just their third IMPC start. Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase joined the 2019 TCR Champions just before Sebring. They finished second in their second IMPC start two weeks ago at Road America.
Rain Dance? Last year, weather played a major role over the weekend, qualifying was washed out at VIR and the grid was set by the championship points standings...should that happen again, three of the four BHA cars will start in the first two rows.
Double Duty: Parker Chase will be extra busy this weekend, he will compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, driving the #77 Late Model for Chad Bryant Racing.
Bryan's View: "July was a great month for our Veloster N TCR cars with podium sweeps at Sebring and Road America. As August turns up the heat, we know our competition will be doing the same. The team and drivers have worked hard to prepare for an increased challenge." - Bryan Herta
#29 Vertical Bridge/Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman
Best Start: 4th Best Finish: 2nd Championship: 13th (52 points)
Parker Chase on his transition to front wheel drive: "Coming off an amazing weekend at Road America with a 2nd place, Spencer and I both are looking to continue the momentum into VIR. With two races in a front wheel drive car, I’m starting to get it under my belt after driving rear wheel drive GT3 cars for the last two and a half years. I'm still working on the tire conservation aspect of a front wheel drive but I’m getting the hang of it!"
Spencer Brockman's impressions after his first two IMPC races: "After a great 2nd place result at Road America, Parker and I will be working towards improving this position by one heading into VIR. It has been a great pleasure driving the Hyundai Veloster N TCR so far, and I have loved the challenges that IMSA racing has presented. Being that Road America was only my 2nd ever race with pit stops and driver changes, it has been quite a big transition for me. There are a few things I need to polish, but the Bryan Herta Autosport crew has helped tremendously with my transition to sports car racing and, I can’t thank them enough. I’m truly looking forward to getting back behind the wheel again next week!"
#21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins
Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 1st Championship: 1st (90 points)
Harry Gottsacker on his sophomore season: "This year has been different for me because it’s been the first time in my sports car career that I have returned in the same car and series for a sophomore season. The only new part was having Mark join me in the #21, and it's a bonus to have all that experience to pull from. I feel so much more comfortable this year, and that allows me to really focus on the details because I already know what is coming next. We have been able to get more performance out of every component within the team as well because this is our second go at the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship."
Mark Wilkins on leading the championship: "Heading to VIR with the championship lead reflects the tremendous efforts put forth by the team thus far! Harry has done a fantastic job in qualifying, and for me, his drive at Sebring, running in the GS pack was impressive, and a catalyst for our victory there! We had a few more challenges at Road America, but kept focused and came away with a solid podium and points scoring event. Our team of Veloster N TCR’s has been strong! The cars are performing incredibly well, and the team is really firing on all cylinders. We have worked really hard to build on the solid foundation we developed over the past few seasons and I believe our results are a reflection of our cohesive efforts."
#33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Championship: 2nd (85 points)
Gabby Chaves on his chances if it rains: "The Veloster N TCR paired with Michelin tires in the rain give an unparalleled level of confidence to attack the corners while maintaining consistency at an incredibly high level through the roughest track conditions. Should it rain again at VIR, we will be just fine."
Ryan Norman: "I love driving with Gabby and the BHA team. I couldn't be happier. Our #33 Hyundai has been awesome every weekend and I am sure it will be the same at V.I.R. I'm ready to back up Road America with another victory this weekend."
#98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis
Best Start: 3rd Best Finish: 2nd Championship: 3rd (tied at 80 pts)
Mason Filippi on the "Esses": "Michael Lewis and I are ready to take the fight to the competition. We had a tough race at Road America and the competition is so tight. We must rebound strong. The “Esses” in the Veloster N TCR are one of my favorite sections during the entire season and I am looking forward to racing through them. I have never won at VIR, but came close last year finishing second. I am hoping Michael and I can get that extra step on the podium!"
Michael Lewis's approach to VIR: "Thank you to Bryan Herta Autosport for giving our team such great race cars each weekend, and we will work hard to continue to earn more manufacturer points for Hyundai. Regarding VIR, I love the entire flow of the track that our Hyundai Veloster N TCR Race Car provides. I especially love the tight and tricky T4-T6 section, and having to squeeze the throttle very gently on used Michelin tires to get good performance here. I am appreciative of the fact that we can continue to race during this time, and while we really miss the fans and the energy they bring to the track, I hope to have you enjoy the excitement from home!"
Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian:
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 have entered, including Indy Lights, Indy Car, Global Rally Cross, and championship titles in Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA. 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 later, BHA partnered with Andretti Autosport, and defied the odds again, winning their second Indianapolis 500 with rookie driver Alexander Rossi. 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. In 2019, BHA and Hyundai moved to the IMSA Michelin Sports Car Challenge, and the transition was flawless. BHA swept the series driver and team championships with driver Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis finishing first in the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR and young guns Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi finishing second in the #21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR. For 2020, BHA continues its successful partnership with Andretti Autosport fielding the #98 U.S. Concrete Honda w/ Curb Agajanian in the IndyCar series for driver Marco Andretti and a four-car Hyundai Veloster N TCR campaign in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Michael Lewis and Mason Fillipi (#98), Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker (#21), Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman (#33) and Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman (#29). 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
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