Hyundai Veloster N TCR team take trio of
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge titles
The Bryan Herta Autosport team have taken a clean sweep of titles from the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season – finishing 1-2-3 in the drivers‘ and teams‘ standings and giving Hyundai a first manufacturers‘ honor with their Veloster N TCR.
Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman took the drivers’ title in their first season of racing the Hyundai Motorsport-built car. They clinched the championship with second place at the final round at Sebring International Raceway in Florida to complete a Veloster N TCR 1-2 behind the #21 of Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins, who took second in the standings.
In a season when Veloster N TCR teams won seven of the ten race champions Chaves and Norman were victorious on three occasions – including the penultimate round at Laguna Seca, which gave them the points’ lead going into the finale. The #98 team of Mason Filippi and Michael Lewis and the Gottsacker/Wilkins line-up each took the chequered flag twice, the #21 winning on both of the series’ trips to Sebring.
The tally of wins featured a first win for the team in the championship’s endurance-format four-hour races – coming at Road Atlanta – as well as six 1-2 finishes for Hyundai customers. Three of those came in a remarkable run through July and August when Hyundai teams locked out the podium places for successive events and established, without doubt, the Veloster N TCR as the benchmark car in the class.
After winning both the drivers’ and teams’ title from their first season of IMSA racing last year the Bryan Herta Autosport increased their commitment to the series, and as Hyundai customers, for 2020. After expanding to three cars for the opening round at Daytona they added a fourth for drivers Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase during the break-in competition forced by coronavirus restrictions.
The expanded team helped the team secure a first manufacturers’ title for Hyundai, clinched before the final race of the year after a very consistent season. As well as the excellent results from the Hyundai USA-supported Bryan Herta Autosport team there were podiums for the Forty7 Motorsports team – finishing third in the series’ first visit to Sebring – and Copeland Motorsports, whose entry finished second at Road Atlanta in the series debut for drivers Tyler Gonzalez and Tyler Maxson. The final round also brought the series debut of Van Der Steur Racing, as the number of Hyundai customers in the series continues to expand thanks to the proven performance of the Veloster N TCR in the series.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Operations Leader Andrew Johns said: “This has been a very successful campaign for Bryan Herta Autosport and the Veloster N TCR in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. After taking two titles in their first year with the car the team, in partnership with Hyundai USA, increased their commitment and was richly rewarded with all three championships. It has also been a good season for them in their role as Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing agents in North America, with more Veloster N TCR teams joining the series and taking very strong results thanks to the performance of the car, and the support available to them.”