Bryan and Colton Herta will share one of two Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai i30 N TCR entries in next weekend’s Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The defending Pirelli World Challenge TCR team champions will field full-season TCR drivers Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis, joined by Mason Filippi, in the No. 99 Hyundai. The Hertas will be joined by 2017 PWC GTSA champion George Kurtz in the No. 98 Hyundai.
“We started talking about it pretty much as soon as I heard TCR cars were going to be eligible to race this year,” Bryan Herta said. “I talked to the series about it, and they were supportive, so it was going to be Colton and me.
“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 found George Kurtz and Mason Filippi were available to join us which we feel will make our team even stronger for the event. They know the tires, they know the track; we’re lucky to have them. They are both extremely capable guys. It all worked out really well for us.”
The eight-hour race will mark the Hertas’ second race together; they last ran together in the 2015 25 Hours of Thunderhill in 2015.
“[Thunderhill] was great for me, we enjoyed doing that together, and it got me up off the couch,” the elder Herta said. “I’m really looking forward to this. It will be a more competitive situation and it’s a perfect opportunity because it’s the end of the season, there are no points in play, and we can just go out and have fun.
“It will also 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 endurance run. Some of it we’ll do ourselves, some of it is homologated and we’ll buy it directly. 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 braking, harder brake pads, things like that that you would normally do for a longer race.”