BHA RETURNS TO SEBRING AS DEFENDING RACE WINNERS
March 17, 2021
Round 2 of the 2021 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge
The Allen Jay Automotive 120
March 17 – 19, 2021
Round: 2 of the 10 race 2021 Michelin Pilot Challenge
Racetrack: Sebring International Raceway
3.74-mile road course, features 17 turns
Race: Friday, March 19, 2021 at 2:35 pm ET (2 Hours)
TV: LIVE on NBC Gold Track Pass Watch American Flat Track, ARCA, Whelen Modified Tour, IMSA online | NBC Sports Gold | NBC Sports
Live timing and scoring from each session available at www.IMSA.com
Live radio commentary for every session at www.IMSA.com
BHA FAST FACTS:
Sebring Success: Sebring was good to Bryan Herta Autosport in 2020. Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker won both IMPC rounds at Sebring last year and BHA locked up the first three positions of the 2020 Championship as the titles came down to the wire at the Sebring finale in November.
Daytona Rewind: Eight Hyundai cars took the green flag at the IMPC season opener at Daytona in January. BHA newcomers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson came out on top, finishing third, Hyundai’s best finish ever at Daytona International Speedway. Johnson and Simpson’s race car is unique to any other in the paddock as it is equipped with hand controls for the accelerator and brakes to accommodate paralyzed driver Michael Johnson. Simpson uses the traditional pedals.
The battle of the Hyundai cars went down to the wire as Stephen Simpson (#54) and Michael Lewis (#77) challenged each other for the top three throughout the closing laps of the 4-hour season opener. Just four-hundredths of a second separated the two Velosters at the checkered flag. The #51 Veloster of Mason Filippi and AJ Muss ran strong in their debut as teammates; Filippi ran as high as second and the duo finished fifth. Six of the eight Hyundais finished inside the top ten: 6th (#33 Elantra), 8th (#19 Veloster), and 9th (#98 Elantra).
Positive Test – The Racing Kind: All four BHA Hyundais completed a successful test at Sebring two weeks ago, logging over 1200 miles in one day. “We ran a full, trouble-free day with all four cars. It was a successful day for the team, especially the new Elantra's as it gave us the opportunity to gain additional knowledge going into Sebring,” commented Team Manager, Phil Howard. “With such a long break between races, I’m glad the drivers were able to get some extra seat time before the race weekend. This was especially helpful for our new driver pairing. They are still getting to know each other’s styles and preferences.”
Diversified Disciplines: Since the opening round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in January, Parker Chase as been mixing things up. He made his NASCAR Camping World Truck debut at Daytona in February. Racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Chase ran as high as seventh in his debut and inside the top-ten most of the race before spinning to avoid and incident with just nine laps to go . Chase will compete again with KBM on May 22nd at COTA.
Elantra Accolades: Hyundai debuted a brand-new race car at Daytona, the Elantra N TCR. It was a very successful debut for Hyundai, with both cars finishing inside the top-ten in their first race ever. The car was designed and developed by Hyundai Motorsports Group in Europe, with racing legend Gabriele Tarquini having completed the development testing. The road-going sister car, the popular 2021 Elantra, has enjoyed succuss already this year, having won the 2021 North American Car of the Year™, one of the industry’s highest accolades. Last week it was announced the winner of the 2021 Car of the Year by the Hispanic Motor Press.
Women’s History Month: To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Hyundai introduced the Hyundai Women in STEM Scholarship to help the next generation of women leaders. The scholarship helps close the gender gap in engineering, mobility and autonomous driving fields by awarding female students interested in pursuing an education and career in those disciplines. Five female STEM students will receive a scholarship in the amount of $10,000 each. The endeavor is present within Hyundai’s racing program, with BHA driver Taylor Hagler (#77 Veloster N TCR) being a brand ambassador for Hyundai and the first full-time female race car driver representing the brand.
#98 Hyundai Elantra N TCR
Drivers: Parker Chase and Ryan Norman
Best Start: 15th Best Finish: 9th Rank: 9th
Ryan Norman is the defending TCR Champion.
Ryan Norman: "The last time I was at Sebring, Gabby (Chaves) and I won the Championship, so right now it's my favorite race track! It's felt like an eternity since Daytona adn I know we've made a lot of progress with the Elantra. I'm looking forward to showing that with a great result with Parker."
Parker Chase: "Excited to get back in the Elantra N TCR this week at Sebring. We had a very productive test a while back and I think we’ve found some more speed in the car since our last outing at Daytona. We didn’t get much track time in the #98 at Daytona, so the test really helped to improve and develop on some things we missed out on in January. Sebring is always a driver favorite and it’s always a weekend that’s looked forward to."
Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian:
Founded in 2009, Bryan Herta Autosport has grown from a single car Indy-Lights team into a multi-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 Rallycross, 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 American Sports Car scene beginning its immensely successful partnership with Hyundai. Together, BHA and Hyundai have won three championships in as many seasons, including their dominating performance finishing first, second and third in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, where Hyundai won its first manufacturers title. For 2021, BHA will debut the all-new Hyundai ELANTRA N TCR and continue with the proven Veloster N TCR with a three-car assault in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. For more information, visit: www.BryanHertaAutosport.com.
BHA/Hyundai Customer Support: Bryan Herta Autosport is the U.S. sales agent and part support representative of Hyundai TCR and TCA race cars for customer teams. The BHA/Hyundai Customer Support Team offers trackside engineering support, setup and tuning advice, and part and order fulfillments for the Hyundai Veloster N TCR and TCA teams and drivers from the BHA’s headquarters in Speedway, IN. Since its North American debut in 2019, the Hyundai Veloster N TCR has scored 26 race wins, and three TCR championship titles.
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