For the third consecutive year, Hyundai clinched the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) overall championships at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. After a successful 2022 season, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis of Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) entered the final weekend with a 100-point championship lead and drove their No. 1 Hyundai Elantra N to the back-to-back championship title.
“Today was actually a little crazy,” said two-time IMPC champion, Taylor Hagler. “I was hoping that it was going to be an easy race and all that we had to do was finish fifth and that is not how it happened. We dropped all the way to last, had an incident with another competitor and a mistake in pitlane. It all looked down, but the racing gods were with us, and we were able to have some fun with it.”
“It feels great,” said Michael Lewis. “To be an IMSA champion in any category is awesome. It’s a big series with a lot of hard competitors out there, so to come out on top after ten long races, it’s special. I must thank Taylor Hagler for driving so well all year. It’s a two-person effort. Taylor did an amazing job after getting hit off the track today, and she stayed calm. That’s a championship drive right there. It’s so good to be a part of Bryan Herta Autosport. They give you everything you need. Being a three-time IMSA drivers’ champion means a lot.”
As Hyundai captured a third-consecutive manufacturers’ title, the result also marked the fourth drivers’ and teams’ championships with BHA.
“In the immediate aftermath, I’m elated for Michael, Taylor, the team and Hyundai,” said team owner Bryan Herta. “Three championships, again, is amazing. It seems to get harder every year. At the same time, I’m gutted for a few of our cars that had potential to win this race, but we didn’t always have the races we deserved this year. It’s hard with six cars, and as much as I’m happy for our best-finishing car, I feel for the worst-finishing car. It’s a range of emotions and has been a balance all year.”
In the action-packed final minutes of the Fox Factory 120, BHA teammates Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson battled it out for an exciting second-place finish alongside newly-crowned champions Lewis and Hagler in third place.
- Top Finishing Hyundai: Second place for the No. 54 Hyundai Elantra N TCR driven by Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson
- Top Qualifying Hyundai: Second place for the No. 98 Hyundai Elantra N TCR driven by Harry Gottsacker and Parker Chase
©Copyright MOTORING WORLD INTERNATIONAL. All rights reserved. Materials, photographs, illustrations and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written permission from Motoring World International