May 25, 2022

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Hagler sets sights on winning more races, another IMSA title | Auto Racing

Taylor Hagler clocks in for operate at 7:30 a.m. each and every working day at a Texas aviation upkeep company for her 8-hour shift as an administrative assistant.

She has no qualms discussing her desk occupation with strangers.

It truly is her 2nd occupation that she avoids when a random person asks her what she does for a residing. It is just not constantly easy to explain that she’s a racecar driver, and a fantastic one particular, also: Hagler is just the second female champion in IMSA athletics car heritage.

“I are likely not to explain to people today. My dad and mom and my sister will be the first to say ‘She’s a racecar driver!’ and I’m generally burying my head in my cellular phone,” Hagler explained to The Connected Press. “The past time, we ended up out to evening meal and this human being was spending attention to our conversation and stated ‘Oh! Like FS1?’ I explained ‘No, what is that?’ and they have been like ‘Forza’ and I had to say ‘No, that is a video clip activity. I race a serious racecar.'”

Hagler races Thursday at Sebring Worldwide Raceway in the Michelin Pilot Problem TCR Championship with co-driver Michael Lewis. She qualified fifth on Wednesday in a Hyundai fielded by Bryan Herta Autosport.

The duo last 12 months gained the class championship, making Hagler the initially woman to get the TCR category and only next feminine winner in IMSA historical past.

The 26-12 months-previous Texan is a latecomer to motorsports and only severely commenced pursuing it just after retiring from equestrian present jumping. Her father was the racing admirer and had ordered a 3-working day certification for Hagler’s more mature sister to participate in the Skip Barber Racing University.

But her sister, Crystal, experienced no fascination and Taylor was only 13 years aged at the time. The certification collected dust for numerous a long time and Hagler continued on her have journey that took her to faculty at UTSA.

It was not until eventually she was with her household at Petit Le Mans and noticed the Skip Barber booth at the track that boredom led her to question if the certificate experienced expired.

“I was like, ‘Hey, can I use it? Skip Barber states it is really continue to fantastic,’” Hagler stated. “So my father bought a 2nd 3-working day certificate and did it with me, and it ended up staying just a pleasurable issue for father and daughter to do collectively.”

That was 2015 and Hagler returned to the Barber college the following 12 months for a two-working day session. A shoulder personal injury that needed operation cost her most of 2017 but by the end of that yr she successfully obtained her racing license.

She experienced early success in reduce divisions — a podium complete in her debut race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin — and was a person of the initial drivers to pass by way of the HPD Academy, where by she trained on GT3 vehicles and expanded her participation in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge software.

Hagler moved to Herta’s method past yr and teamed with Lewis on a breakthrough IMSA gain at Lime Rock Park that sparked their championship run. It was their only victory of the season — Hagler and Lewis opened this period in January with a runner-up complete at Daytona — and she’d like to incorporate extra victories to her resume as they protect their title.

“The intention is certainly to gain a different championship, but location sights a tiny little bit shorter, I would certainly like to get a few more wins,” Hagler claimed. “It’s a tiny little bit unusual and rare to gain a championship with only just one actual race earn, and the detail me and Bryan and my co-driver and my engineers have been doing work on is qualifying. Which is constantly been a weak spot of mine, I just take as well prolonged to get up to pace, and by the time I do, my tires are absent. So I would like to qualify much better and put us in place to acquire a lot more races.”


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