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Intercontinental GT Challenge

BHA Confirms Two-Car TCR Entry for California 8H

BHA will enter two TCR cars in the upcoming California 8 Hours IGTC event…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

Bryan Herta Autosport is set to enter a pair of Hyundai i30 N TCRs for next month’s Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

BHA, which won this year’s Pirelli World Challenge TCR teams’ championship, will feature a driving lineup of full-season drivers Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis in one of the two entries.

The father-son pairing of Bryan and Colton Herta, the 2018 Indy Lights runner-up, will be joined by 2017 PWC GTSA champion George Kurtz.

An additional Bronze-rated driver will join the Wilkins and Lewis, both of whom carry Silver rating from the FIA.

Team owner Bryan Herta told Sportscar365 that his squad had been evaluating an entry into the IGTC finale for some time.

“We started talking about it pretty much as soon as I heard TCR cars were going to be eligible to race in it this year,” he said.

“I talked to the series about the idea, they were supportive, so it was going to be Colton and I.

“We got a curveball we weren’t expecting when they said if you have two Silvers you have to have a Bronze driver.

“I wasn’t expecting that, but then we started looking around and George Kurtz, who knows the tires, he knows the track, we’re lucky to have him.

“He’s an extremely capable guy. It all worked out really well for us.”

It marks the second time that father and son have competed together, dating back to the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in 2015. The elder Herta said he looks forward to his return to competition.

“Two years ago we did the 25 Hours of Thunderhill and we had a lot of fun,” he said. “It was great for me, we enjoyed doing that together, and it got me up off the couch.

“I’m really looking forward to this. It will be a more competitive situation and it’s a perfect opportunity because its the end of the season, there’s no points in play, and we can just go and have fun.”

This will be the North American endurance debut for the Hyundai i30 N TCR which will have to be modified slightly to be ready for the challenges of an eight-hour race.

“Some of it we’ll do ourselves, some of it is homologated and we’ll buy it directly,” said Herta. “The biggest thing is the refueling.

“The car as we race it in Pirelli World Challenge is not set up to refuel, so we’ve had to modify it to accommodate refueling.

“Then it’s just the normal stuff: endurance brakes, harder brake pads, things like that that you would normally do for a longer race.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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