Here we are in the heart of the summer season. Since my last write up, we’ve been turning laps consistently and a great deal has transpired as far as our championship run is concerned. We won our first race of the season back at Mid Ohio and that momentum has led to a strong charge, albeit with a few challenges but the balance of our season is now in the rear view mirror!
At Watkins Glen we finished a strong second place, narrowly missing out on the win after inclement weather rolled in and we gambled on our tire choice; we went with rain tires, but the track dried more quickly than anticipated.
The following weekend, the lone Canadian event, was my home race at Mosport/CTMP and it wasn’t kind to us. We took some debris through the radiator and were forced to retire the car with just twenty minutes remaining and with a chance to win it.
Racing can be cruel sometimes but the challenges make the successes that much more sweet and our win at Lime Rock Park that followed was oh so sweet! Our Hyundai Veloster N TCR was on rails and my co-driver Michael Lewis and I started from the from the pole (P1) and never looked back. In fact, our sister car finished third making it the first double podium of the season for Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai! Our victory at Lime Rock Park propelled us into the championship lead both on the driver’s and team side.
This past weekend we tackled one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, Road America. This old school track in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin, is super challenging, technical and an absolute joy to drive. I highly recommend anyone who enjoys lapping their car, add a stop at Road America to your bucket list; it’s that good! As has been a factor in many of our races this season, rain was a big part in how this race played out. What started out as a wet race, transitioned to dry and back to wet again. We did a split strategy between our two Veloster N TCR’s, not knowing whether the skies would open or the track would dry. We thought the latter but the rain never let up. With only ten minutes left in the race, Michael had a cut tire and with that an opportunity to put on rain tires. From P10 and one lap to go Michael stormed to P4 and what looked like a really tough race turned into a great points scoring day. Our sister car took the race win; their first of the season and two highly talented, young drivers in Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker gave Hyundai yet another victory for the Veloster N TCR!
With just three races left this season, Michael and I remain in the lead of the drivers championship, Bryan Herta Autosport leads the team championship and Hyundai moves to second in the manufacturer’s championship.
Virginia International Raceway is up next and with the points all being very close, I fully anticipate some epic battles to close out the season! Stay tuned!
Written by Larry Barnett
Photos Provided by Hyundai