Erin Vogel teams up with Taylor Hagler for Indy 8H
Updated: Oct 4
More woman-power at the 8 Hours of Indianapolis: newly-crowned two-time TCR champion Taylor Hagler joins RealTime Racing alongside Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper for the upcoming Intercontinental GT Challenge finale.
There will be five women at the start of next weekend's 8 Hours of Indianapolis: last year's winner Ashton Harrison has in fact announced she will be teaming up with two-time IMSA GTD champion Christina Nielsen - as the trio, alongside Mario Farnbacher, will attempt the ProAm title assault at the final round of the GT World Challenge America season. But they won't be the only women at the start of one of the biggest events of the SRO calendar, as another powerhouse lineup is set to challenge for ProAm glory at Indianapolis: Erin Vogel will share the #43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo will freshly-crowned Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR champion Taylor Hagler - as well as long-time teammate Michael Cooper. Hagler became the second ever woman to win back to back titles in IMSA - after Nielsen in 2016/2017 - repeating last year's success. But the young Texan racer is no GT3 rookie either, as she made her SRO debut in 2021 and was runner up in the championship, finishing her maiden season in GT World Challenge with eight ProAm podiums and three class wins, at the wheel of Acura machinery. A remarkable talent that, like Harrison, comes from the HPD development program, Taylor Hagler will therefore return to GT3 racing for the season finale, in another very strong team that has shown plenty of promising pace. While RealTime Racing's season has been often marred by technical issues or pure bad luck, Vogel, Cooper and Hagler are aiming high for the finale. “I’m really excited to get the chance to race in the Indy eight-hour with RealTime, Erin Vogel, and Michael Cooper", commented Hagler. "Erin and Michael have had some really strong runs this year in the Acura, and I had a lot of success last year in the NSX GT3 Evo platform and we are looking to build on those collective experiences in Indianapolis." "RealTime has had so much success and experience with this NSX platform and I’m looking forward to getting back to SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge competition.” Vogel and Cooper moved to the Acura NSX platform in 2022, having raced the Mercedes AMG GT3 in their debut season in GT World Challenge America. In only her second year in SRO America, Vogel became the first ever woman to win at GT3 level in SRO, with a historic success at VIR in 2021. In 2022, she finished on the class podium at Watkins Glen with an impressive first race, but also showed great racecraft in the battles and currently sits fifth in the ProAm standings. After adapting to the new car and to its different adjustments, Vogel and Cooper made important steps forward in the second half of the season, as their class podium was followed by very encouraging performances at Road America. Unfortunately an early accident at the start of the Sebring double-header took them out of contention for the whole weekend. While luck was certainly not on their side in 2022, the RealTime Racing's crew is excited to round out the season on a high, welcoming the 2021 GT World Challenge Rookie of the Year. “I'm so excited that Taylor is joining us for the 8 hour this year", said Vogel, a real advocate for women in the sport. "Racing against her last year was always challenging and fun, so it's great to turn the tables now and be on the same team." “Both sprints and endurance races have their own unique and fun qualities, but at this point in the season a longer race is definitely something fun to look forward to, to change up the rhythm of the racing and strategy", she continued. “As always, we're really just looking for a clean race from start to finish, and anything more than that is a bonus. Maybe if I tell myself that enough times it'll be true! And you know, that's the nature of the competitive personality: if you do well you're motivated to keep doing well and to do better where possible; if you struggle you're motivated to struggle less and achieve more. I think the effort is the same either way, it's just that sometimes it nets results and sometimes it doesn't, despite best efforts.” The final round of the 2022 GT World Challenge America season will run in conjunction with the Intercontinental GT Challenge event. After test sessions and free practice on Wednesday and Thursday, Pre-Qualifying and Qualifying will get underway on Friday, October 7th. The 8 hour race will go green on Saturday at 12pm local time.