Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai drivers relish second-place end on the 24 Hours of Nurburgring – EAST AUTO NEWS

Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai drivers relish second-place end on the 24 Hours of Nurburgring

Surviving and thriving 24 hours in one of many world’s hardest endurance races, 4 American rookies from Bryan Herta Autosport’s squad of IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem TCR drivers not solely completed second at school, however twenty ninth out of 131 starters within the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nurburgring. Their Goal Competitors teammates gained the category for a Hyundai one-two.

In a race that included GT3, GT4, Porsche GT3 Cup and quite a lot of different equipment, ending twenty ninth total for a gaggle of rookies was an accomplishment by Michael Lewis, Taylor Hagler, Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker. Sixteen of the automobiles in entrance of them had been GT3 automobiles, with the others being a mixture of GT4 equipment and 992-generation Porsche Cup automobiles.

“It’s fairly unimaginable,” stated Lewis, who set the quickest lap in qualifying, and began and completed the race. “And our teammates gained in TCR. So one-two for Hyundai. It’s cool to be one-two within the class, which was actually freaking laborious, however then to be up within the prime 30 is insane in opposition to automobiles with much more energy and larger tires and every little thing. So,thanks to Hyundai. I do know it’s cliche to say that, however actually, we’re not right here with out them and Goal Competitors facilitating all of this. They’re tremendous on-point.

“Due to my teammates – not solely my American teammates, Mason, Harry and Taylor for killing it on the market, but additionally for Marc , Manuel and Mikel for lots of perception into how to do that race. They’d give us one-liners right here and there earlier than getting within the automobile. And sharing all that knowledge was actually useful. So huge crew effort, and naturally, Bryan Herta Autosport for facilitating us getting right here with Hyundai.”

The challenge to convey 4 younger American BHA drivers to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring started earlier than COVID, and at last occurred this yr. For every of the N24 rookies, moving into the race meant 5 journeys to Germany for familiarization and qualifying races. The N24 is a problem not only for the observe itself – the one which Jackie Stewart notoriously coined “The Inexperienced Hell” – however for the number of equipment. The BHA drivers are used to sharing the observe with GT4 equipment in MPC, however not with GT3 automobiles along with automobiles a lot slower than the TCR equipment, which fall in the midst of the vary.

“There have been a number of moments at night time – you’re going three vast passing a sluggish man after which there’s one other sooner automobile passing you within the grass and also you’re similar to, ‘ah, man, that is loopy!’” stated Filippi. “Then I received bumped by one of many leaders and I used to be fully sideways, I used to be wanting on the wall and I used to be like, ‘That might be actually horrible for the crew.’ However we saved it so it was all good. However you understand, simply moments like that’s the place you get slightly further stress.”

Three of the 4 drivers reported contact whereas being handed by GT3 automobiles, however luckily none of it was critical. Aside from that it was a trouble-free run requiring gas and tires each eight laps and a single brake change for the 24 hours. It was comparatively uneventful for the quartet of drivers of their first 24-hour race on the Nurburgring. And for Hagler, having an uneventful run was a particular bonus contemplating her first expertise within the TCR automobile on the Nurburgring got here this weekend after finishing the qualifying races within the slower VT2-class Elantra.

“The TCR automobile was extraordinarily totally different from the VT2 automobile,” Hagler stated. “The VT2 automobile was slightly bit extra on rails within the greater velocity stuff and fairly steady within the slower velocity stuff. The TCR automobile may be very steady in every single place and it gave me numerous confidence, particularly round this observe, that I might sort of throw no matter I wished on the automobile and it was going to be there to avoid wasting me. I used to be in a position to run some fairly first rate occasions immediately, received up to the mark immediately. I’m fairly proud of that with out having numerous time on this automobile on this observe, particularly throughout a race.”

All 4 of the drivers are fast to say they might like to do the race once more, and are happy with their outcomes.

“I feel it’s an amazing accomplishment,” stated Gottsacker. “These guys are a number of the greatest on the earth, particularly at this racetrack, and for us to complete this near them and be aggressive with them at occasions was simply really an honor. And we had a terrific race … no errors, no penalties.”

The BHA drivers return to MPC motion on the finish of June at Watkins Glen Worldwide. Filippi and Mark Wilkins are main the TCR factors after three straight podiums, together with a victory in the latest race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Gottsacker and Robert Wickens are second within the standings, whereas defending champs Lewis and Hagler need to climb the ranks after a tough begin to their season.

Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai drivers relish second-place end on the 24 Hours of Nurburgring – EAST AUTO NEWS


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