2021 Mid-Ohio Preview

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Following a nearly two-month break, co-drivers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson and the Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) team will return to the track and to 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition on Saturday, May 15 for the Mid-Ohio 120 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.

The two-hour race, which is part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by The TLX Type S, on the 2.258-mile, 13-corner course is so set go green at 3:35 p.m. ET.

All IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge races are streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio also provides live audio coverage of select Michelin Pilot Challenge practice, qualifying sessions and full-length coverage of all races.

Johnson, Simpson and the BHA Universal Coating No. 54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR car were at Mid-Ohio last week for testing and for a special event. The car was loaned to Robert Wickens, who was behind the wheel for the first time since being paralyzed during a horrific crash at an  IndyCar race in 2018.

“I’m excited for the race here at Mid-Ohio on Saturday,” said Johnson. “The test last week here was rainy and cold, so it’s nice to be here for when it’s dry. I’m feeling good and ready to rock it!”

When last in competitive action, points were the prize of the day for Johnson and Simpson and at the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring International Speedway in Sebring, Fla., as they guided the BHA Universal Coating No. 54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR to a fifth-place finish.

In 2020, at Mid-Ohio, Johnson and Simpson captured third place, effectively scratching off the list of tracks at which they had not earned a podium finish.  

The weather forecast for Saturday will lend perfect race conditions. Highs are projected to be near 70 degrees with partly sunny skies. Winds are expected to light, 3 mph for from the west-southwest. There is, at best, a two percent chance of rain.

“I am looking forward to a good weekend at Mid-Ohio,” said Simpson. “Michael and I had a very strong race there last year, finishing on the podium. Definitely looking to repeat that. We had a good test here a week or so ago, although in damp and rainy conditions. Nothing that will really apply for us this weekend with the weather expected to be nice and sunny. Michael is driving very well and

Next month, Michelin Pilot Challenge action will continue when Johnson and Simpson and the BHA team travel to Watkins Glen, N.Y. for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. The four-hour Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240, on the 3.4 mile, 11-corner Watkins Glen International Speedway, is scheduled for Saturday, June 26 at 2 p.m. ET.