ROAD AMERICA ’21 RECAP
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Drivers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson and the Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) team placed eighth on Saturday at the Road America 120 on a rain-soaked track at famed Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
The two-hour race, which saw Johnson and Simpson finish third among Hyundai Veloster N TCR entries, represented the eighth leg of the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Rain was expected but was, nonetheless, a factor.
“Road America was challenging with the weather that came on race day,” said Johnson. “The track had multiple conditions, which made tire strategy difficult, but we came away with no damage. I learned a lot in the rain and Stephen did a great job in the heavy rain. I am looking forward to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in a couple of weeks!”
Racing behind the wheel of the BHA Universal Coating No. 54 Hyundai Veloster N TCR car, Johnson and Simpson posted a best-lap time of 239.022 and their top speed was measured at 91.639 miles per hour.
“All in all, not the result we wanted but we gave it a good go,” said Simpson. “It rained for the entire race. We ended up staying on the same set of rain tires and, in hindsight, we should have changed to a new set when I got in the car at the pitstop. That was the difference in finishing where we did and a podium finish. The Michelin tires held up well ,but we were all out of grip at the end of the two hours.
“Michael drove a great first stint; the best rain driving I have ever seen him do. I am proud of the improvements he has been making in those tricky conditions. He was regularly running lap times on par with the top five or six drivers. But now it’s time to regroup and move on.”
Next up, Johnson, Simpson and the BHA team will travel to the west coast, visiting picturesque Monterey, Calif. for the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120. The two-hour race, the ninth installment of the 2021 IMSA Pilot Challenge, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:40 p.m. ET.