Alton, Vir. (10 October 2021) – Taylor Hagler came one step closer to the end of the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) season and the TCR Championship with a fifth-place finish in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix on Sunday. Hagler and teammate Michael Lewis currently lead the TCR class with 2600 points in the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
Sunday at Virginia International Raceway began with an early qualifying session for the field of GS and TCR entries. Hagler laid down four quick laps in the 15-minute session, placing the No. 77 Hyundai 11th on the starting grid.
Tasked with the opening stint, Hagler took the green flag on the inside of the sixth row. With no hesitation, she quickly gained three spots in the opening corner. Steady, consistent driving by the Hyundai driver resulted in her fastest lap of the race weekend of 1:59.377 seconds. A smooth pass by Hagler moved the No. 77 into eighth where she maintained her position for eight laps. On lap 29, Hagler completed her stint under yellow flag conditions bringing the No. 77 Hyundai to pit lane for four Michelin tires, fuels and a driver change to Lewis.
Lewis went to work in the Hyundai Veloster making steady progress. With 40 minutes left on the race clock, Lewis ran in fourth. The final full course caution appeared on lap 40 packing up the TCR leaders. As the green flag flew for the restart, 14 laps laid ahead to the checkered flag. A close battle with BHA teammate Mark Wilkins saw the No. 77 Hyundai slot into the fifth as the race clock ended and came to the finish line.
“Although we are still very much in contention for the TCR Championship, it is disappointing to not be on the podium today as we had a great Hyundai Veloster,” said Hagler. “The Bryan Herta Autosport team did everything they could to give us a fighting chance today and I am so proud of all their hard work. Now we look ahead to the season finale and focus on our ultimate goal.”
Next up for Taylor Hagler is the IMSA season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans weekend where the TCR Championship comes down to the Fox Factory 120 on November 14th.