Following proclaiming last year’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR championship with just one acquire, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis showed the electric power of consistency. Now the duo appears set to deploy the exact same tactic as they attempt to protect their title.
Back-to-again next-put finishes have the pair at the best of the standings right after two races. The two groups that have wins this time, Victor Gonzalez Racing (VGRT) and KMW Motorsports, are next and third in the standings but each individual has a very poor complete to go alongside with their win. VGRT completed Daytona in 13th even though KMW went from a gain in round a single to a 14th-position end at Sebring.
Just after by no means finishing outdoors of the leading 5 en route to previous year’s title, it seemed like Hagler and Lewis could possibly be heading in direction of their worst end result in in excess of a yr when the Sebring race started. Hagler experienced to provide two drive-through penalties for infractions of the series’ tire policies and the team expended the 1st 8 laps of the race functioning very last.
“The generate-throughs had been obviously actually aggravating, and I was just seeking to determine it out once we got again in the pack,” Hagler reported. “Stefano, my engineer, did a definitely good position of getting a seriously fantastic strategy to get us back up there.”
By lap 14, when Tagler handed the No. 1 Hyundai Elantra N TCR to Lewis, it was back in fifth, in which it had began. The team was assisted by the point that above 50 percent of the race was expended behind the protection motor vehicle as four entire class yellows, which usually involved barrier repairs, led to 21 laps of pacing.
“Watching Taylor have a neat head was truly impressive,” Lewis explained. “A whole lot of moments, you have a little something occur at the commence and you get very hot-headed and make far more problems, but she held it great and did almost everything genuinely good.
“We optimized system and played that card so when I was out there, I was genuinely just making an attempt to continue to be thoroughly clean like Taylor did and cycle to the front via all of the pit stops and we finished up receiving toward the entrance with the most effective tires and that was the ideal sensation at any time to be on the best tires and right up at the entrance.
“From there, I just type of picked my way by means of. We almost received the gain – I manufactured a very little oversight and could not get it done ,but we got next and it was a rather very good details working day and that is what we need all year long. Even although the get was near, we wished to get it, I imagine we’re joyful with the factors.”
There is a equivalent craze rising in Grand Activity exactly where the two race winners, RS1 and PF Racing, are fifth and seventh in the standings. Both are becoming bogged down by 16th and 17th-area finishes respectively.
Meanwhile, the No. 64 TeamTGM and the No. 7 Volt Racing are tied for the championship lead with identical finishes of next and seventh after two rounds. Like their counterparts in TCR, Ted Giovanis and Owen Trinkler had points fairly than trophies on their mind.
“It was a fantastic details working day for us,” Giovanis mentioned. “I was a little bit apprehensive about following up our finish in Daytona, which was a great start off to the time but this 1 we held on – we experienced a great technique. We stubbed our toes on the pit system, but things worked out. We had a wonderful factors working day for us.”
Trinkler, in the meantime, opted for a protected operate to the finish as opposed to risking the motor vehicle for a better end result that might not have been in the playing cards.
“Ted did a great work in his stint, retained the auto clean up like we’ve generally talked about, and lady luck is riding with us a tiny little bit, so now we are major the details,” Trinkler said. “We may have gotten a bit much more in the end, but I was thinking factors, and we are out of right here with the direct, and I’m so delighted for Ted.”