Round: 9 of 10 in the 2020 Michelin Pilot Challenge
Racetrack: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Salinas, CA
2.238-mile road course, featuring 11 turns
Race: Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 3:35 pm PT (6:35 pm ET) (2 Hours)
TV: LIVE on NBC Gold Track Pass at www.nbcsports.com/gold
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:
Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship: In line with their continued growth in North American Sports Car Racing, Hyundai is the title sponsor of this weekend’s IMSA race at the famed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The Hyundai brand has a long history of successful sports partnerships in the U.S. and beyond, including the NFL and the Super Bowl, NCAA Football, The PGA Tour, FIFA, World Archery and the International Cricket Council. This is Hyundai’s first time partnering with IMSA as an entitlement partner.
Hyundai Success: The Hyundai Velosters have dominated the 2020 season having won five of the eight races thus far. A Hyundai has finished on the podium in all but two races and has scored a total of nine podium finishes, in addition to their five victories. Hyundai has a 14-point lead over Audi in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
TIGHT 3-Way Battle: 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Team Champions, Bryan Herta Autosport head to the penultimate round leading the first three positions in the 2020 championship standings. However, the title is still up for grabs and the battle is on. Just eight points separate the championship points leaders: the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR driven by Michael Lewis and Mason Filippi leads over Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman in second, driving the #33. Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker in the #21 Veloster N TCR are just three points behind in third, with 219.
Team Chaves: Will GC2 become GC3? Congratulations are in order for Gabby Chaves and his wife Gabby, as they are expecting their first child in the coming weeks.
Team Avocado: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is the ‘home’ track for California residents Mason Filippi of San Francisco and Laguna Beach’s Michael Lewis. The #98 team refers to themselves as “Team Avocado” as their engineer, John Ward, and data acquisition engineer, Justin Jang, are also Californians. Michael, Mason, John, and Justin wear their lucky avocado socks on race day.
Full Circle: It was just two years ago, in the fall of 2018, when Mason Filippi made his debut with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Filippi co-drove with Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis in the #99 Hyundai i30N TCR at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Now, two years later, he returns as the IMPC Championship leader.
#98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis
Best Start: 2nd Best Finish: 1st Championship: 1st (230 pts)
Mason Filippi: “I am really looking forward to the Hyundai Monterey Sportscar Championship at Laguna my home track! The Hyundai Veloster TCR car is amazing around this iconic road course and I cannot wait to battle it out in these final rounds of the championship. “
Michael Lewis: "Getting to race our Bryan Herta Autosport, Hyundai Veloster N race car around Laguna Seca is really incredible. The Veloster N is so great in the corners and this track provides many opportunities for our car to excel. Additionally, we hope to give Hyundai strong results as it is their home race. It is really special that Hyundai is the title sponsor of the Laguna Seca weekend. Thank you to the entire Bryan Herta Autosport team and Hyundai for providing fast Veloster N race cars. We hope to lock down the manufacturers title this weekend!"
#33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Championship: 2nd (222 points)
Gabby Chaves: “It’s been a restless two weeks for me after a rough finish in Atlanta. I’ve been counting the minutes to hit the track at Laguna Seca, and it’s a great opportunity to get back into victory circle in front of the title sponsor and our great brand, Hyundai. We expect to be very competitive and get back into great form to finish out the last 2 races of the year!”
Ryan Norman: “Although I’ve only been on track once at Laguna Seca, I can’t wait to get back and especially with the Veloster N TCR. The track has so much history around it and it is a blast to drive. We always show up strong and this weekend should be no exception. With just two more races and the championship so tight, we’ve got to make sure to maximize every points opportunity to win this championship. Thank you, Hyundai, for your partnership in this race. It will be an extra special weekend representing Hyundai.
#21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins
Best Start: 1st Best Finish: 1st Championship: 3rd (219) points)
Harry Gottsacker: “I’m really looking forward to get back at it at the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca! We are still in the championship hunt and Mark Wilkins and I are really working with the team to make sure we have a great car for the last few races. This has been a race on the calendar where I have wanted to perform because we didn’t get the result we wanted last year. Being Hyundai’s race makes it that much more important!”
Mark Wilkins: “After an awesome stretch of road trips driving Hyundai’s to the races this season, it’s time to get back on a plane and head out west! I’ve been looking forward to the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championships weekend for a while! This promises to be a great weekend both on and off the track. We have our friends from Hyundai coming to cheer us on and I think with that support we have a great shot at capturing the manufacturer’s championship at their home race! With two races left this season it’s full speed ahead for a strong finish. Harry and I will be pushing hard to make up some ground in the points, as the drivers’ championship is still up for grabs!”
#29 Vertical Bridge/Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman
Best Start: 4th Best Finish: 2nd Championship: 6th (192 points)
Parker Chase: “I am ready to get back on track at Laguna Seca. It’s been far too long since I raced there – since 2016. The green flag can’t come soon enough! With Hyundai being the presenting sponsor of the event, I know we will have a lot of people to put on a good show for. It was really special being part of the Hyundai podium sweep earlier this season and we have the tools to do that again this weekend. Our Veloster should be on rails.”
Spencer Brockman: “I’m really excited to race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for my first time and in such an important event this weekend. Fortunately, I have Bryan Herta and team full of experience to show me the way at this legendary track. I’ve also got plenty of laps on the simulator, so I won’t be heading into the weekend completely blind, but I can’t wait to feel the corkscrew for real!”
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
Hyundai Motor America
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