Michael Lewis Takes Wire-to-Wire Victory Saturday in Utah; Bryan Herta Autosport Dominates TCR Action
Another Hyundai i30 N TCR 1-2 finish for Lewis & Wilkins in 100-degree heat
GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Michael Lewis hit the throttle at the green flag Saturday in the Pirelli World Challenge Round 9 TCR event and never looked back in his No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR race car.
The personable Californian drove from his pole position in the 40-minute sprint road racing event at Utah Motorsports Campus and led wire-to-wire in the 20-lap feature at the 3.048-mile, 14-turn outer track inside the large Utah racing facility in near 100-degree heat.
Saturday’s TCR race for the first for the racing category at the Utah race plant and Lewis put his name in the records with a dominating run. It was Michael’s third TCR win in 2018 and sixth for the BHA team and Hyundai.
Only Lewis’ BHA Hyundai teammate, Canadian Mark Wilkins, could stay close to Michael in the first half of the race as the two veteran racers pulled away from the rest of the TCR field Saturday. At the checkered flag, Lewis defeated Wilkins by 2.613 seconds in the impressive 1-2 finish for the team’s fifth 1-2 finish of the 2018 TCR campaign for the BHA Hyundai boys.
“Big thank you to all the Hyundai service managers and all these other corporate members being here,” said Lewis. “It’s cool to get the win and see them cheering us on. We’re trying to get points for Drivers’ championship and Team championship. But, first and foremost, this win helps us as we’re working hard for the Manufacturer championship for Hyundai.”
Lewis and Wilkins currently rank second and third behind point leader Ryan Eversley in the TCR Drivers’ standings, but Bryan Herta Autosport tops the Team points by 18 and Hyundai leads the Manufacturers standings by 15.
“A great day for Hyundai, another 1-2,” said WIlkins. “Congrats to Michael. He did a great job in qualifying and took it all home to win the race. Overall everything was functioning as normal, the car’s balance was still good and we just tried our best to stay out of trouble. It’s a great day for Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai and all the support they’ve brought here today, so it feels so good to win 1-2. Hyundai has given us a great baseline car to work with. All in all, we made a few tweaks but it’s just a great platform to begin with. The track is technical, there’s a lot of variety, there are a lot of high-speeds and brake zones and the track lets you test all the aspects of the car.”
Lewis also set the fastest race lap Saturday at 1:59.212 for a 92.04 miles per hour average. With that new track record, Michael will start from the pole position again in Sunday’s Round 10 event with the unique standing start. Wilkins will start alongside on the front row in the 40-minute set to start at 1:00 p.m. MDT.
Sunday’s TCR race at Utah Motorsports Campus will have live streaming on www.world-challenge.com and the World Challenge channel on YouTube.
About Pirelli World Challenge (PWC): The Pirelli World Challenge is a North American auto racing series launched in 1990 by the Sports Car Club of America. It has been managed by WC Vision since 2008, and sanctioned by the United States Auto Club since 2017. The series consists of seven driver classifications and several classes of vehicles, including: Grand Touring, GT Cup, GTS, TCR, TC and TCA. The series frequently races alongside the IndyCar Series on race event weekends. Each Pirelli World Challenge Touring TCR season consists of six event weekends with doubleheader races for a total of 12 rounds. Each weekend has one standing start as well as one rounding start. Each TCR race has a maximum 40-minute time limit.
About Bryan Herta Autosport
Co-Founded by Bryan Herta in 2009, Bryan Herta Autosport has grown from a single-car Indy Lights team into a world-renowned auto-racing franchise. The team made its first foray into IndyCar action in 2010 with an entry in the Indianapolis 500 while continuing to run a full-time multi-car Indy Lights program. The 2011 Indianapolis 500 was the final race of the Centennial Era, a celebration of 100 years of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Also known as “The Most Important Race in History,” the 100th anniversary of the inaugural 1911 race was the second IndyCar race in which Herta Racing competed.
Five years later, Bryan Herta Autosport, while partnered with Andretti Autosport, defied the odds again and won their second Indianapolis 500 with rookie driver Alexander Rossi. In 2015, Bryan Herta Rallysport made its debut in the exciting Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship.
Hyundai Motor America
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