It’s always good to see a naturally gifted racer get the opportunity to show their talents. In IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge series, one of the newest drivers is teaming up with a veteran for the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona contest that will be held on Friday, January 24th on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road/oval circuit.
The Michelin Pilot Challenge often identifies hidden talent, and when 24-year-old Tyler Hagler takes on the Honda Civic Type R in the highly competitive TCR class, she’ll be teamed with Ryan Eversley, also a natural who got his start wielding wrenches before getting the opportunity to drive in competition. Based in Atlanta, Eversley has a highly diversified portfolio that should aid Hagler’s full-season run with LA Honda World Racing.
Hagler has only been racing cars for two years; she has loved sports car racing all her life but her competitive juices were sated by 10 years in equestrian show jumping competition. She feels it’s a natural progression: “I am so excited to race IMSA in 2020 with LA Honda World Racing and Honda Racing HPD,” she said. “I’ve had a chance to try the Honda Civic Type R TCR a few times and I’m looking forward to driving it at Daytona. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to drive it on a more regular basis and I’m so pleased that LA Honda World Racing has provided this opportunity for 2020.”
The LA Honda World Racing team won the season-starting four-hour contest in 2019 with Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock behind the wheel. IMSA’s TCR class features internationally-homologated race cars from brands like Honda, Audi VW, Alfa Romeo and Hyundai.
Eversley, starting his 11th season as a Honda/HPD racer is excited to join LA Honda World as they’ve “won a lot of races and I’ve admired what they’ve accomplished from a competitor’s standpoint. I know they’re going to be great to work with; Taylor and I are ready to go and looking forward to getting the season started in our No. 77 Honda Civic Type R.”
For Hagler, the jump to IMSA and its Michelin Pilot Challenge class is a proper one. She began racing in Spec Miata and NASA Pro Racing’s HPDE to Racing Program, earning Rookie of the Year honors while placing fifth of 69 drivers in the NASA Texas Spec Miata championship. The Bulverde, Texas native drove a Honda Civic for X-Factor Racing in the TCA category of TC America, finishing fifth in the title chase with two podium results, including a debut podium at her home track, Circuit of the Americas in Elroy, TX.
Hagler will take part in the January 3-5 Roar Before the Rolex 24, getting to know her car, her co-driver Eversley and the daunting Daytona circuit. She’s set to race in all 10 of the Michelin Pilot Challenge contests scheduled for the 2020 season.