Bryan Herta Autosport will remain focused on its partnership with Hyundai in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge next year despite the team having explored multiple opportunities to be part of a manufacturer-led LMDh effort.
Team owner Bryan Herta confirmed to Sportscar365 that his TCR championship-winning organization had been in discussions with both Hyundai and a separate undisclosed OEM for an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship factory GTP class operation.
However, both prospective programs have not materialized according to Herta.
“We very much wanted to do it with Hyundai,” he told Sportscar365. “I think there was some interest; there was genuine interest in it.
“But they’ve got other priorities right now and their focus on electrification, their focus on fuel cell technology.
“I think those are areas where they’re probably more inclined to make motorsport investments in the short-term.
“We also had, I thought, a real shot at another manufacturer’s LMDh program but in the end that didn’t come to fruition either.”
Herta has essentially ruled out a move to the GTP class by no earlier than 2025, with his team not having interest in fielding customer LMDh cars.
“I’m not aware of any opportunities [for 2024],” he said. “We would only want to do it if we’re aligned with a manufacturer.
“I’m not very interested in trying to buy a car and as a privateer go up against those manufacturer programs. I’ve done that before and that’s a hard way to go racing.”
The Indianapolis-based squad will return to Pilot Challenge seeking its fifth consecutive TCR teams’ championship with a scaled back three-car TCR class entry.
It comes after campaigning six Hyundai Elantra N TCRs this year.
Two-time and defending TCR class champions Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis will be back together alongside co-drivers Robert Wickens and Mark Wilkins, who were also on multi-year contracts.
A late decision by Michael Johnson to forgo the 2023 season, however, has left BHA seeking drivers for its third Hyundai.
As a result of its LMDh prospects not materializing, Herta confirmed that the team’s technical director David Brown will be moving on to new opportunities.
Herta, however, said he hasn’t given up on moving BHA into the top-class sports car racing, or a return to open-wheel competition.
“I’m excited about LMDh,” he said. “I’m excited about the future for prototypes. I think the class is going to be fantastic.
“We’re still open to doing something in WeatherTech and/or IndyCar in the future and we’ve got some things we’re working on.
“But right now what we know and what we’re focused on is really trying to focus on Hyundai’s TCR program with the Elantra N TCR.”