VIR Recap – 2022
ALTON, Va. – Michael Johnson, Stephen Simpson and the Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) Team finished in fifth place on Saturday at the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va.
Coming off back-to-back second place showings, Johnson and Simpson overcame instrument issues to gain more key points and slide into a tie for third in the IMSA Pilot Challenge standings with one race remaining in the 2022 season.
“Our race at Virginia International Raceway had a little bit of everything,” said Johnson. “Coming off a strong qualifying, we had a good shot at a really good finish. I made a mistake in turn 1 on the first lap so we had to play catch up but came away with a fifth place finish. It was a very good points day so we all are looking forward to the last race at Road Atlanta in about a month. I would like to thank the entire BHA team for a fantastic car and continued support!”
Johnson and Simpson are knotted in the standings with teammates Parker Chase and Harry Gottsacker with 2,330 points. The two teams in first and second place have 2,620 and 2,520 points, respectively.
“Right at the start of the race, our radio broke, so we had no communication from the car to the timing stand and also our dashboard didn’t work, so we didn’t have any lap times or fuel economy per lap to work from,” said Simpson. “It was difficult for Michael and me, nevertheless our crew did a really good job. We had great pit stops. Our engineer, Chris, did a great job with the car. We made great improvements from practice to the race in terms of the handling of the car. At the end of the day, it was solid fifth-place finish for us. We scored some good points when some of the drivers we are vying against for the championship didn’t. All in all, it was a good points finish and another strong weekend in the books.”
The 2022 IMSA Pilot Challenge schedule will draw to an exciting conclusion in a month when Johnson and Simpson race for the title at the helm of the No. 54 Universal Coating Hyundai Elantra N TCR car at the Fox Factory 120 at Michelin Roadway Road Atlanta, as part of the Motul Petit Le Mans.
The season finale, at the 2.54-mile, 12-corner track in the Georgia capital, is set for a 1:05 ET start on Friday, Sept. 30.
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.