- Taylor Hagler scores a podium result in her Civic Si in Sunday’s event
- Hagler’s podium finish comes in her first professional race weekend
- Chris Haldeman leads Honda’s Saturday charge with a fifth-place result
The green flag flew on the 2019 Touring Car America racing season this weekend, and a six-car contingent of Honda Civic Si drivers – all making their professional racing debuts this weekend – showed its strength over two days of racing at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Taylor Hagler celebrated her first professional race weekend by leading the six-car X-Factor Racing squad with a podium finish in her #77 Civic Si on a chilly Sunday in Texas. Just one year removed from participating in NASA Pro Racing’s HPDE to Racing Program, the Texan fought off the Mazda of Jose DeSilva to earn her first professional podium.
X-Factor Racing leader Chris Haldeman paced the Texas-based squad in Saturday’s opener, taking fifth place while Hagler came home one spot behind in sixth. But a mild Saturday gave way to much colder temperatures on Sunday, as teams dealt with temps that never quite reached the 50-degree mark.
Hagler shook off the cold to earn the podium while Danny Soufi and Haldeman chased each other to the flag to claim the sixth and seventh spots, respectively. Cole Ciraulo bounced back from a tough opener to earn a top-10 run in Sunday’s nightcap, placing ninth.
The 2019 Touring Car America championship now moves from central Texas to the west coast of Florida for a second consecutive weekend of racing, as part of the March 8-10 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda Racing activity from the Circuit of the Americas are available on Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).
Taylor Hagler (#77 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si) 3rd in Sunday’s race, her first professional race weekend: “My first podium in my first pro race weekend – it’s a little overwhelming. Honda gave us a great car and we’ve been working day and night to get it set up specifically for me and for what I need. This Civic Si is a MACHINE! I could outbrake just about everyone. The car was responsive, it felt good all day. I cannot recommend this Honda any higher for anyone that wants to go racing. It is such a good car.”
John Whiteman (Manager, Commerical Motorsports, Honda Performance Development): “We could not be happier with the competitiveness and race craft demonstrated by the six Honda Civic Si drivers this weekend. Getting new racers into a modern and reliable race car is the objective of our ‘ready-to-race’ Civic Si program, and their performance this weekend is proof of that concept. Congratulations to all the Civic racers!”