Bryan Herta Autosport scores third straight IMPC victory and second straight podium sweep
Danville, VA - Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis earned their first victory of the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season on Sunday, driving the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR at Virginia International Raceway. This is their first race win as teammates. Lewis preserved his tires and saved fuel through the first half of the race, which helped the #98 team jump to first in a lightening quick pit stop, including the driver change. Typically, the race starter, Filippi took over for the finish. His mirrors were full of fellow BHA Velosters challenging for the win. Filippi's finesse allowed him to charge to the checkers for the victory.
Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins finished second in the #21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR and extended their points lead by 11 over Filippi and Lewis. Wilkins and Gottsacker have finished on the podium the last three races. It started with their victory at Sebring, followed by third place at Road America and then second on Sunday at VIR.
In just their third race together driving the #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai N TCR, Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase scored their second podium finish with a phenomenal drive from 10th to third. Brockman recovered from an early race tangle to fourth before turning the driving duties over to Parker Chase. Chase had an exciting multi-lap battle with Stephen Simpson in the Audi for third and prevailed, finishing third.
Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman have led every race this season. This time it was Gabby Chaves who qualified and started the race. He passed to the front and led throughout his stint. The #33 car lost positions in the pits and Norman struggled with handling in the second half of the two-hour race. The #33 Veloster N TCR fell back as far as ninth, but Norman raced back to a top-five finish.
Round five, the halfway point of the 2020 season, takes place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, September 4-6, 2020.
Winners: #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis
Qualified: 3rd (Lewis) Finished: 1st Championship: 2nd
Mason Filippi: "Our #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR was on point. Our engineer, John Ward and the #98 crew did an amazing job and really gave us a perfect pit stop. Michael (Lewis), killed his first stint, he did a great job saving fuel and handed me a perfect car. I am so excited for this victory and thrilled to be a part of this program."
Michael Lewis: "It was another great day for BHA with our victory and all of our team cars inside the top five. I was so amazing to get the win today. For sure it would be cool to see any team car win, but it was nice to get to victory lane with Mason (Filippi), especially after our troubles at Road America. Our Hyundai Veloster N TCR was handled so well and allowed us to take good care of our tires, save fuel and run strong laps to the end. I was so impressed with Mason in his final stint with so much pressure from the veteran Mark Wilkins, he was in control and really earned that victory."
2nd: #21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins
Qualified: 5th (Gottsacker) Finished: 2nd Standings: 1st
Mark Wilkins: “Fantastic day today for Hyundai and our quest for the Manufacturers championship today. It really couldn't have gone any better, another sweep for BHA and the team is just doing such a great job, they give us a great car and Hyundai gives us a great platform. It's awesome, there is great synergy within the team, everyone is firing on all cylinders and these are the results when that happens. Great job again by Harry qualifying and in the first stint, and by our engineer Hunter (Wright), who has been nailing it the strategy and set-ups. I can't wait to keep the party going at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in a few weeks."
Harry Gottsacker: "It was another solid race and points day for Mark and me in the #21 Hyundai Veloster TCR. Man, I'm having a blast. The team gave us a really good car and I was able to quickly get to third in the first few laps. We had a great stop by the BHA boys and Mark gave the typical Mark Wilkins performance. He was smoothly hunting down Mason for the win and ran in his shadow the entire stint. Congratulations to the team and Hyundai on another sweep and It's nice to head to Road Atlanta with a bit of padding in our Championship lead."
3rd: #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase
Qualified: 4th (Brockman) Finished: 3rd
Parker Chase: “It felt good to grab another podium finish for Spencer and I. After a rough opening lap for Spencer, he handed the #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai off in a good position, but we had to do a longer stop to assess the damage from lap 1. Luckily, with how the cautions played out it really helped us make our way to the front. I am super happy finish on the podium and deliver Hyundai their third consecutive 1-2-3 finish."
Spencer Brockman: "After missing the set-up in qualifying, the Bryan Herta Autosport crew game me a great race car and I was able to move up to fourth from 10th place starting position before handing it off to Parker for his final stint. He did a great job managing traffic and had a successful battle for third. The Veloster N TCR cars were really strong all race and I can't wait to go after it again at Road Atlanta.
5th #33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Ryan Norman and Gabby Chaves
Qualified: 4th (Chaves) Finished: 5th
Gabby Chaves: “Our 33 car was very fast and led so much of the race. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the podium today, but still a top five and a good points finish."
Ryan Norman: “I am pretty disappointed with the results we had in the #33 car today, fifth certainly does not represent the speed we had in our Veloster N TCR. Gabby did a fantastic job bringing the car into the pits in first, and we had a small fueling issue that cost us two spots and then I made a mistake that threw us off the track. At that point, I had some work to do to get back to the front. We will come back stronger at Road Atlanta and race for another victory. I'm happy for my teammates and for Hyundai, as a team, we are working exceptionally well together and it's great to be a part of it."
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.
P.R. Bryan Herta Autosport
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