- First IMSA podium, pole position and laps led for Taylor Hagler
- LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR stars in both races of doubleheader event
- Hagler and Ryan Eversley suffer reversal of fortune after strong start in race two
LEXINGTON, OH (September 27, 2020) – Honda notched up their second podium finish of the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series TCR class with the #77 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR at a pair of two-hour Mid-Ohio 120 events this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Starting fifth for the first event of the weekend, Taylor Hagler moved up to third place on the opening lap, setting consistent times and staying in a podium position through the first 20 minutes of the race. Falling back after a pit stop during a full-course caution, Hagler pitted again from fourth, handing the #77 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR to her co-driver Ryan Eversley.
Eversley resumed sixth on the track, but third among cars that had already taken service with just under an hour left to run at Honda’s home race. The Georgia-native moved to third as the leaders came in to complete the pit stop cycle, then passed the second-place #61 Audi on a restart with 42 minutes left to run.
Despite intense pressure from behind, Eversley continued his march forward, chasing down the race leader and even taking some looks down the inside before crossing the line in second place.
The second-place finish marked Honda’s best result in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, and Hagler’s first podium finish in her rookie year of IMSA competition.
Hagler achieved two more IMSA firsts in Sunday’s second Mid-Ohio 120, notching up her first pole position—only the third woman to do so in Pilot Challenge history—and leading her first laps in IMSA competition.
Hagler stunned in qualifying, taking pole position on the very last timed lap as the sun set over Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. She continued her impressive pace in the opening 40 minutes of the event, holding off first the #5 Alfa and then the #21 Hyundai for more than 35 minutes before the only yellow flag of the day flew.
Pitting during a caution, Hagler handed over driving duties to Eversley. It would be a tough stint for the veteran, as he was asked to save fuel with one hour and 10 minutes of potential green-flag running still to go, right at the upper edge of the fuel window for the TCR class.
Eversley continued to save fuel, moving forward from fifth in the class as competitors came in for their additional fuel stops. Eversley took the lead with 30 minutes to go and looked set to make it a double podium weekend for Honda before an apparent turbocharger failure ended their day with just 20 minutes left on the clock.
HPD has three ready-to-race Civic models for touring car competition. The line starts with the affordable and reliable Civic Si TCA race car, then leads to the Civic Type R TC racer that puts legendary Type R performance on track, and culminates with the no-compromise, championship-winning Civic Type R TCR race car.
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The MICHELIN Pilot Challenge travels to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta October 15-16 for the FOX Factory 120. The race can be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Ryan Eversley (#77 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished second on Saturday: “It was an unfortunate result to our second race this weekend but can’t say enough about how well our Honda Civic ran in qualifying and the first race! Before our mechanical problem in race two, we were leading pretty much the whole time, so that was really great. We’ll bounce back and head to the next race, but I’m even more excited about the rest of the year. Major congrats to my teammate Taylor on her first pole and IMSA podium, she’s been doing such a great job and I’m excited to see her having this success.
Taylor Hagler (#77 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR), finished second in Saturday’s opener, scored her first pole position for Sunday’s race: “It feels great to get my first IMSA podium! The beginning of the race definitely wasn’t easy. I was running by myself for a while, so I made sure to use the pack of cars behind me as a reference. I could tell that they were slower than me in certain corners, so I made sure that I hit all my marks to gap them. The car was running great and Ryan did what he does best.” On Sunday’s race: “Today was definitely a tough way to end the race. Everything was looking to work in our favor and Ryan made it back up to the lead. Unfortunately, that’s racing sometimes and we just need to refocus for the next race. Overall, this weekend has been really positive for us. I think that we finally were able to show that we can be contenders in the front of the field and fight for wins. There was a lot learned this weekend that we will take with us to Road Atlanta.”
MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Mid-Ohio 120
Circuit: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH
Weather: Sunny and mild, 76 degrees F