Lewis, Hagler making consistency rely – once more – in Pilot Problem
Over the past two years, one driver pairing has emerged from a crowded Bryan Herta Autosport secure and an much more crowded IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem Sequence TCR subject to face above the remainder. Whereas many drivers and groups speak of the significance of consistency, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis within the No. 1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR have discovered it.
Coming into the ultimate race of the 2022 season at Street Atlanta, the duo holds a 100-point lead within the championship. Within the first eight rounds of the yr, nonetheless, they had been winless in pursuit of a second consecutive MPC title. Hagler was not bothered by that reality, nor was Lewis.
The duo’s plan was to interrupt down the season into three-race mini championships, decrease their expectations for the yr, and hold them low if success got here their method.
“One large factor that Michael and I’ve labored on isn’t having greater expectations,” Hagler stated. “Simply form of forgetting that final season even occurred and beginning this yr utterly new.
“The way in which that he has taught me to do it’s to interrupt down the season into quarters. Each three races is its personal mini-championship and we common how we did from these three races.
“Each race weekend is form of one thing new and yearly is totally new, so it by no means goes to our heads. We by no means have greater expectations of what we will realistically meet. That method we’re by no means super-disappointed if one thing unhealthy occurs.”
The duo’s worst on-track end of the season was a sixth place at Watkins Glen that received changed into a last-place end of sixteenth after Lewis failed to satisfy his minimal drive time by 58 seconds. Aside from that, the No. 1 Hyundai has not completed outdoors of the highest 5 in the complete season.
Even with 4, second-place finishes earlier than their first win of the season, Hagler was not unhappy with going winless for a lot of the yr.
“We realized rather a lot from final yr about how championships aren’t all the time gained by profitable the races, it’s about being constant,” she stated. “Consistency is a giant consider racing and it’s additionally fairly laborious to return by.
“I wouldn’t actually say that I’m unhappy by not profitable races. I’m fairly glad with how constant we’re capable of be. To me, it means we work effectively as a workforce, and we work effectively as co-drivers.”
There may be a substantial amount of consideration given to Hagler’s 2021 championship win. It was the second time a feminine had gained an IMSA championship, and the primary in Michelin Pilot Problem. However when requested what it will imply to earn one other, Hagler’s reply targeted not on herself, however on her teammate.
“Having the ability to do in addition to we’ve with the primary means rather a lot to each of us, and it will give Michael three championships in TCR,” she stated. “That will be a brand new one for the historical past books and it will make each of us the primary back-to-back champions in TCR, so there’ll be loads of historical past damaged with that one.”