CHASE KEEPS PODIUM STREAK ALIVE AT ROAD ATLANTA
September 8, 2020
Braselton, GA - Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman scored Hyundai's fourth straight victory, and BHA's first win in an endurance race Sunday when they took the checkered flag after 4 hours of action packed racing in the sizzling heat at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Teammates Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman finished second in the #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai Veloster N TCR, while the #98 of Michael Lewis and Mason Filippi finished fifth. Pole winners Harry Gottsacker and Mark Wilkins finished 9th.
Doubling the race distance doubles the challenges but also makes victory more rewarding; "It's a great win for the team and for Hyundai," said Bryan Herta. "It was a tough race, longer races always present more opportunities for challenges and we had some with the 98 and 21 cars. The team fought hard to be there at the end and we walked away strengthening Hyundai's lead in the manufacturers championship."
The #33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR started fourth with "Flyin' Ryan Norman" behind the wheel. Norman has led every race in 2020 and he continued that streak at Road Atlanta prior to turning the bright red Veloster over to co-driver Gabby Chaves for the final two hours.
Fuel consumption was the name of the game for everyone in the final hour. Chaves and his engineers were tasked with either hoping for a yellow flag or exercising fuel saving measures while retaining the lead to finish the race without an extra stop. They strategized diligently and Chaves drove a phenomenal race. He saved enough fuel to the end, while controlling the race from the lead, earning their second victory this season. The victory bumped the #33 team to the championship points lead by 2 points.
In another great result for the #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai Veloster N TCR, Spencer Brockman showed his pace early, racing to sixth at the start, and running in the top five through most of his stint. Seeking an advantage in strategy, the 29 car was the first to pit of the four-car BHA squad. An unwelcomed caution period hit as soon as they returned to the track, spoiling the strategy and putting them a lap down. Fortunately, it happened early in the race and through consistency in pace by Brockman and finisher Parker Chase, and strategy by the #29 crew, they returned to the lead lap. Then, led the race three times for 35 laps, and raced back to contention for the four-hour victory. Ultimately, Parker Chase set the fastest race lap and finished second, earning their third podium finish in four races.
Michael Lewis took the green flag in the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR. Early in the race the #98 crew diagnosed a fuel issue which forced the team to make nine pit stops through the race. Lewis and his teammate Mason Filippi kept their focus and perserverance, finishing inside the top five, despite four more stops than the cars that finished immediately behind them. This result is a testament to the team's quick stops and flawless driving.
Starting from the pole position for the first time in his IMSA career, Harry Gottsacker paced the field ready to challenge for his second victory of the season. He raced inside the top five throughout the first two hours, but the #21 team recognized issues with the fuel after his first stop. He had only received a portion of the intended fuel. The #21 team worked throughout the race to resolve the issue. Gottsacker, then Wilkins raced on and brought the car home inside the top-ten.
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge features two 4-hour endurance races each year. Sunday's event usually takes place annually at Watkins Glen International Raceway before the 4th of July in New York. Due to COVID travel restrictions in New York, the race was rescheduled and moved to Road Atlanta. Next up: BHA heads to Mid-Ohio for a double-header September 26th -27th. For more information, visit www.bryanhertaautosport.com
2nd: #29 Vertical Bridge Hyundai Veloster N TCR
Drivers: Parker Chase and Spencer Brockman
Qualified: 6th (Brockman) Finished: 2nd Championship: 11th
Third podium finish in four races
Parker Chase (finished): “It was little stressful with the fuel saving out there, but I had a great car. Spencer and I are taking advantage of our resources at Bryan Herta Autosport, it's great to lead races and finish up on the podium again in the #29 Vertical Bridge Veloster."
Spencer Brockman: "We started 6th and got stuck behind some GS traffic in the first stint, so we changed directions with our strategy and pitted early for fuel and tires. I went back out and then we caught a yellow almost immediately, which put us a lap down. We were able to get our lap back fairly quickly and I caught back up to the field before turning it over to Parker. He was awesome out there, it was a tough, long stint for him, we're really happy for another strong finish for Hyundai."
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.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
At Hyundai Motor America, we believe everyone deserves better. From the way we design and build our cars to the way we treat the people who drive them, making things better is at the heart of everything we do. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to create a better experience for customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide and nearly half of those sold in the U.S. are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.Please visit our media website at www.HyundaiNews.com