The Silver Hare Racing duo of Maurice Hull and Connor Zilisch are reaching the final stretch of this year’s Trans Am Series Presented by Pirelli campaign by settling in New York’s scenic Finger Lakes region for the festivities. Watkins Glen SpeedTour this weekend.
The historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit at Watkins Glen International hosts round 10 on the 12-race schedule for Trans Am competitors, with the Silver Hare Racing camp focused on delivering its best performance of 2022 during Saturday 30- lap, 75 minute TA2 class race. After this weekend, only the October 8 race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, the High Point, North Carolina-based team’s home track, and the November 6 race at the the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. , stay on schedule.
Hull, who co-owns the team with his wife Laura, returns to Watkins Glen in the No. 57 Waukegan Farms/Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro that he drove to 17th and 18th places, respectively, during a doubleheader weekend of Saturday and Sunday on the track last September. The three-time TA2 Masters champion will be making his fifth start of the year. He was this season’s top Masters finisher twice in his previous four events: March 26 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, and July 3 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In last year’s Watkins Glen doubleheader, Hull was part of a three-car effort from Silver Hare Racing that was highlighted by Tyler Kicera’s second-place finish in Sunday’s race.
Zilisch, the 16-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina, will make his second visit of the season to the iconic Watkins Glen speedway this weekend. A full-time competitor in the prestigious Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup Series, which had its own doubleheader weekend at The Glen on June 24-25, Zilisch showed his penchant for catching up quickly by qualifying in pole for the first race. An unfortunate turn of events ended his bid to win in that race, but he set the stage for a stellar rally from the back of 28 cars in the second race that scored a sixth place finish.
Zilisch has been busy since that outing. The same weekend he drove to a sixth-place finish in his Silver Hare Racing Camaro on July 3 at Road America, Zilisch drove to victory in both Saturday and Sunday’s MX-5 Cup rounds at the track. And his hot streak in the MX-5 Cup continued on August 27-28 at VIR when he finished second in Saturday’s race and won for the third time in four races on Sunday.
It’s the kind of speed Zilisch has exhibited in Trans Am since his series debut last October at VIR, where he became the youngest polesitter in series history with a lap of 1:48.905. In this year’s Round 2 at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway Roval in just his third Trans Am start, Zilisch posted the fastest practice and qualifying laps, as well as the fastest lap in the race.
Silver Hare Racing leverages its Trans Am effort to promote its pull-up and drive program, where aspiring racers and even starting professionals hone their racing skills on some of the most revered tracks in North America. NASCAR Cup Series drivers Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Harrison Burton have all-wheel drive cars set up for Silver Hare Racing to hone their road racing skills with top-tier teams.
The team offers six TA2 chassis, professionally built and maintained by Howe Racing, for both competition and private testing. Silver Hare Racing has a dedicated full-time team and operates out of a state-of-the-art facility in High Point. At the track, two 53-foot Featherlite carriers serve as the team’s base, each outfitted with a lounge and smart TVs for data and video review, as well as hospitality.
“With NASCAR having so many more road-course races, our goal is to make Silver Hare Racing the team of choice for drivers to get that road-course experience,” said Laura Hull, co-owner and team principal of Silver Hare Racing. “We want to be that important step up the ladder for up-and-coming young drivers like Connor, which we’re doing in collaboration with Kevin Harvick Incorporated.
“It started when he was brought to us for testing at VIR a year ago, and now we are delighted to have him under contract. That’s how we’re trying to position this. We want people to know that we have a show up and drive program, where people who want to race this track or another, we give them the opportunity to do it and be successful.”