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James Hagan Takes Win at Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (June 19, 2024) — The Era Motorsport team earned our first home-town win of 2024 last weekend running the Oreca 03 of James Hagan in the Class 11 races at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

Hagan, who is frequently seen racing his Oreca FLM09 with us in the Masters Endurance Legends series across Europe, hopped in his US-based LMP2 car for the first time in nearly a year to take on the famed Brickyard for the first time.

The Era Motorsport US workshop not only prepped the car over the past few weeks but also provided trackside support and driver coaching from team owner Kyle Tilley, who helped Hagan navigate the tricky Indianapolis Grand Prix Road Course.

The four-day weekend began with two practice sessions on Thursday, as Tilley took the car out first for a shakedown before Hagan hopped in and started learning the course. 

By the time Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2 session came around, Hagan’s ability grew under Tilley’s tutelage as he found himself cutting almost five seconds off his times from Friday, P2 on the grid, and fastest in his class. 

Saturday’s Race 1 started off even better for Hagan as he took the lead in the first corner, and held it for most of the race before a quick excursion through the grass dropped him back a few seconds. Regardless, the No. 8 Oreca 03 scored a class win and 4th overall. With an overnight reset, Hagan gained a great deal of confidence heading into the final Race Sunday afternoon.

Finally, when the time came for the final race, the Era Motorsport crew had the car dialed in and ready to go, and Hagan took to the track for the final session of the weekend.

Taking the lead in the first corner once again, this time from the second row of the grid, Hagan held off his competitors for the remainder of the race, winning at the Brickyard in his first appearance at the prestigious track.

“The crew were brilliant,” Hagan said after his race win on Sunday afternoon. “They took care of me, they just had the car at 100% which, that’s what I want. The only complaint I had was when they handed me a beer after the race, the top was not off it!” 

“My weekend has been fantastic, I’m a bit disappointed that I went onto the grass yesterday after leading 95% of the race but I made up for it today.”

“The driver coaching from Kyle was brilliant, I think I’m hard to coach because he keeps telling me the same thing but it’s taking a while to drill in. He told me I was actually consistent for the first time with my lap times, we have been working extensively on trail-braking and learning to trust the aero, I’m just feeling much better!”

“The likes of Kyle and the team, they've given me the confidence I need to brake later, drive the car, when to turn in, I haven’t driven the car in over a year, and I just feel back to normal again.”

“I still feel older but I still feel better!”

It won’t be long before Hagan is back out on track after his success in Indianapolis, as next weekend he will be driving his Oreca FLM09 prepared by the Era Motorsport UK workshop alongside Chris Atkinson at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix with the Masters' Endurance Legends.

“I’m very proud of being able to help out clients race just about anywhere they want in the world,” said Tilley. “James going from Indianapolis last week to Zandvoort this week is a perfect example of how we strive to be the one-stop shop for anyone who wants to go historic racing.”

“A massive thanks goes out to the crew for making sure James had a perfect car this weekend and for battling through the heat four days in a row to keep it that way. I could hardly have asked for a better weekend!”

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