Braselton, Georgia – Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins, drivers of the #98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR Race Car for Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) with Curb Agajanian, claimed the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Drivers’ Championship on Friday, October 11, with a victory at the Fox Factory 120 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Bryan Herta Autosport secured the Team Title and Hyundai finished a close second in the Manufacturers’ Championship.
It was a tight battle throughout Friday’s two-hour finale. Both BHA Hyundai Velosters led the race, and ultimately it was Michael and Mark who scored their third victory of the season en-route to their first IMSA Championship. Teammates Harry Gottsacker and Mason Filippi had a grand finale, finishing fourth in the race and catapulting them from fifth to second in the series’ standings.
Bryan Herta, co-owner of Bryan Herta Autosport, commented on his team’s success: “I am so proud of this team and to represent a great manufacturer like Hyundai. The Veloster N TCR is a great race car, it’s been a very competitive and reliable package. Our drivers and this team have done a great job…very fast and very consistent.”
Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai have enjoyed much success in their short partnership, winning back-to-back championships in their first two seasons of competition. BHA and Hyundai won the Team and Manufacturer titles last year in the Pirelli World Challenge before transitioning to the more challenging format of endurance racing in IMSA this season.
“Winning these championships is a huge step for Hyundai Motorsports, our dealers, the N performance brand and Veloster,” said Michael O’Brien, Vice President of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “In the world of racing, we are certainly a challenger brand and to beat great competitors like Audi, Honda and Alfa Romeo far exceeded our expectations in our first year in the series. We could not be prouder of our dedicated drivers and the level of precision in preparation from Bryan Herta’s crew.”
“Winning the championship with Mark Wilkins for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian and Hyundai is so amazing,” added Michael Lewis. “This is my first championship in cars and so too for Mark! Thank you to Bryan Herta Autosport for working very hard at the shop and at the track to give us fast and reliable cars. We won the drivers’ and team’s championship because of you! And, you helped Hyundai get second in the manufacturers’ championship! Congratulations to our teammates Harry and Mason as they finished in second in the drivers’ championship. A 1-2 for the team! I am so happy and so grateful to be with this team and to race with Mark. Mark, you are a talented driver, you are so good, and you are a really amazing person! Thank you to my personal sponsors of ASE, Cometic Gasket, Inc., Racing Goes Safer Foundation, and Bell Helmets for your contributions as well. Also, thank you to Nicolai and Jeff Elghanayan for letting me race their simulator so much, CXC Simulations, Base51, my dad, my friends, and my girlfriend for their support. We did it! Thank you. We are the champions!”
The championship is now complete but the season is not over. Earlier this week, Bryan Herta announced his two-car entry in the second annual Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring Raceway on November 9–10. This was the same event he announced his entry into IMSA competition last year. The four-hour endurance race is a non-points event, featuring LMP3, GT4 and TCR specification race cars.
View the exciting championship conclusion for Michael and Mark at Road Atlanta in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Fox Factory 120 on NBCSN, Friday, October 18, starting at 10 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. PDT.
Additionally, you can find behind-the-scenes coverage of the team’s championship-winning season at the following YouTube links. MotorTrend documented the Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai season in the form of short YouTube videos. Enjoy! See below:
MotorTrend Presents Pole Position: Next Level
The 2019 Hyundai TCR Season
“The Evolution” – Episode 1:
“Youth vs. Experience” – Episode 2:
“The Ring” – Episode 3:
“Michael and Mark” – Episode 4:
“The M&M Boys: Michael and Mark” – Episode 5:
“The Final Countdown” – Episode 6:
Stay updated with Michael Lewis and Bryan Herta Autosport online at:
About Bryan Herta Autosport:
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’ve entered, including Indy Lights, Indy Car, Global Rally Cross, and Pirelli World Challenge. 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. BHA entered the Global Rally Cross Championship in 2015 under the name Bryan Herta Rallysport, scoring multiple podiums and wins. 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. For 2019, BHA continued its’ successful partnership with Andretti Autosport fielding the #98 U.S. Concrete Honda w/ Curb Agajanian in the IndyCar series for driver Marco Andretti. BHA also made their IMSA Michelin Sports Car Challenge debut, and 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. 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.
About Hyundai Motor America:
Hyundai Motor America is focused on delivering an outstanding customer experience grounded in design leadership, engineering excellence and exceptional value in every vehicle we sell. 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 deliver peace of mind to our customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide with the majority sold in the U.S. built at U.S. manufacturing facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.