Hyundai made a strong standing at Sebring with the Bryan Herta Autosport team placing top five with their Hyundai Velosters N TCR.
Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi were moved up to 2nd place for the championships as their 4th finish gave them a boost in points over their competitors. Team mates Mark Wilkins, and Michael Lewis started the race in 3rd place and fought for podium position for the first half of the race but towards the end moved to 6th place due to a pit lane infraction. Bryan Herta Autosport has done very well considering this is their first year with IMSA. A racing organization where the competition is more intense than Pirelli World Challenge.
Overall, the level of driver, car prep, and manufacturer support is so high that any error in preparation, driving, or strategy will cost a team several positions if not the whole race. Hyundai has adapted well to these new challenge while debuting the Veloster N.
Team Owner Bryan Herta’s summary of the event was “It was challenging [the race] but I think our drivers did a good job out there today. I am happy with the team and pleased Harry and Mason brought home their second consecutive top five finish and earned a strong position in the championship. The Veloster N TCR performed great. Overall, I think our level of preparation was good and the drivers squeezed everything out of it. It’s a very competitive series and some of the other cars were awfully fast out there. I think we’re in a good position to keep the progression forward at Mid-Ohio.”
Furthermore the driver’s themselves had their own view of the event with Michael Lewis’s view being “In the race itself Mark had a great qualifying which really amped up the team and got me psyched to see if we could bring home a good result. Mark did a great job of staying out of the chaos that is starting at the front of TCR. He navigated perfectly through the slower GT4’s and traffic and had a great first stint.”
Mark Wilkins responded in a similar fashion with, “We had solid results for both Bryan Herta Autosport cars here at Sebring. I had a good first stint and did my best to keep up with the lead pack.”
All of team’s driver had nothing but positive things to say about the N Veloster with lead championship driver Harry Gottsacker saying, “The Veloster N TCR kept getting faster throughout the run and I was able to hand the car over to Mason without a spot on it.
Mason Filippi who performed very well had this to say about the N Veloster, “I couldn’t wait for my stint and I was so happy with the car. The Veloster N TCR car was really good on tires and it was a great car on long runs, the engineers set it up just right. Our pitstops were good and because of a strong team effort, we are going into the next round at Mid-Ohio second in the championship!”
In closing, it seems that Hyundai and Bryan Herta Autosport made an excellent decision teaming up together as both are overcoming steep challenges in competition and quickly making results.