Sebring Recap 2022

SEBRING, Fla. – Michael Johnson, Stephen Simpson and the Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) team raced to a top 10 finish at the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 on Thursday at Sebring International Speedway in Sebring, Fla.

“The race at Sebring was a challenging one,” said Johnson. “With the limited running and changing weather conditions, it made going into the race with mixed expectations. We had decent pace in the race but just wasn’t able to capitalize on anything. We ended up ninth, so we will work on everything and move on to Laguna.”

Not unexpected, weather was a factor, with rain affecting practice time and conditions. Combine that with an assessed drive-through penalty and hopes of a podium finish went by the wayside.   

Behind the wheel of the Universal Coating No. 54 Hyundai Elantra N TCR car, Johnson and Simpson recorded a top lap time of 2:15.432 and reached a top speed of 99.414 mph, which was third-fastest in the class. 

“It was another tough weekend for us,” said Simpson. “We had very good pace in the race. After some rain in practice and a few red flag stoppages, it meant Michael’s first dry running was in qualifying, so he got thrown into the deep end. He did a great job and we qualified seventh, which was really good. In the practice in the rain, he was one of the quickest cars out there during the week. He had a good start of the race and then, unfortunately, we had a penalty in one of the pit stops. It was an error the team made, which meant we had to do a drive-through penalty and it took us out of contention.

“All in all, it was a disappointing weekend. It was not the result that I felt like we deserved. Michael is continuing to improve, which is the most important part. I am proud of his efforts. We need to take the best of the weekend and look forward to the next race. We need to dig deep and keep working for the result that I know is just around the corner.”

Johnson, Simpson and the BHA team will flip coasts for the third installment of the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120. Set for Saturday, April 30, the two-hour race takes place outside the central coastal town of Monterey, Calif. at the 2.238-mile, 11-corner WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.