In his third race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series, Laguna Beach’s Michael Lewis earned his first victory of the season on Saturday, May 4, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Lewis and his co-driver Mark Wilkins battled rain during practice and qualifying and continued to face cold temperatures and scattered showers during the 120-minute feature race. But adverse weather conditions didn’t deter the two as Wilkins qualified the No. 98 Hyundai Veloster N TCR race car of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian in sixth position for Round 3 of the series.
Wilkins began the race as he drove the car to the front of the pack before turning it over to Lewis just past the halfway point of the race when a full-course caution flag appeared. After the pit stop and driver swap, Lewis returned to the race track toward the front and battled for the top position with two other cars. With only two laps left, Lewis made his final pass and never relinquished the lead, crossing the finish line and giving Hyundai its first victory in the IMSA Series.
“I am absolutely thrilled to get our first IMSA win and the first for Hyundai here at Mid-Ohio,” said Lewis. “It wasn’t easy, and it was a great show. The Bryan Herta Autosport team executed flawlessly, and we fought hard. Great racing, tough conditions and a fantastic finish. I have to give credit to my teammate Mark Wilkins. He was so quick and gave me a car in position to win.”
Lewis’ next race will be at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, on June 28–30.