Close Racing Highlighted by First-Time Winner
The EXR Race Series came to a challenging Sonoma Raceway on August 26-27 for Rounds 7 and 8 of the inaugural season. Twelve drivers featured in each race, including professional drivers Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and former Bathurst V8 Supercar winner Paul Morris.
Race 1 took place on Friday afternoon, which saw local driver Roger Eagleton take a thrilling win ahead of Morris, Romain Thievin and Luyendyk, Jr. in fourth place. The pack of four drivers battled fiercely from the mid-way point when Eagleton overtook polesitter Thievin. Shortly after, it was Morris who passed Thievin with Luyendyk, Jr. stalking behind. At the finish line, all four drivers crossed within 1 second, making this the tightest race finish this season in the EXR Race Series.
“It is great to be on the first step of the podium! These guys are super quick!” said Eagleton. “They are professional stunt drivers and race drivers from throughout the country and the world. These guys are quick, and are not messing around. I did everything that I could do to win the race. I definitely almost lost it a couple times. I thought “I am going to throw it away, there is no way I can make this work” but somehow we made it work. That was tough and a ton of fun too!”
Rounding out the Top-5 was Scott Jennings. He was followed by Hanna Zellers in sixth place, David Perisset, Frank Marcum, Bill Hynes and Lisa Clark in tenth place. Completing the field were Mark Ramsey and Richard McIntosh.
“It was a great race! I did a good start and was leading the first five laps,” recalled multi-race winner Thievin. “Then, I made few mistakes. Roger Eagleton and Paul Morris were really fast, so they caught and passed me. It was a great battle among us. Arie Luyendyk was just behind, putting a lot of pressure on me. I think he was polite today, and I am sure tomorrow he will be more aggressive.”
In Race 2, on Saturday, Thievin, would get his revenge by winning ahead of Eagleton. Behind the leading pair, Luyendyk, Jr. and Morris waged an entertaining battle for the third step on the podium. Luyendyk prevailed just ahead of Morris to finally claim the position. Both drivers passed the finish line in the same second. Jennings once again finished in fifth position.
“This is a fantastic series! I am really happy about my weekend,” said Jennings at the end of the weekend. “I haven’t driven a racecar in six years, and it’s good to jump into a series with a car that anyone can drive straight away. I am the living proof that you can get in there, have a good time and improve your lap speed over the weekend. It’s awesome!”
Luyendyk, Jr. was equally enthusiastic about his EXR Racing debut.
“The racing was phenomenal!” he said. “I finished third today. I had a good little battle with Paul Morris, who I’ve raced with in Stadium Super Trucks. It’s an awesome experience to be able to drive a proper racecar on a nice track like this. It was really nice to be able to compare the data between the drivers. The first session I was 3.5 seconds off and yesterday I was half a tenth off, so it really does help you close the gap, and for new drivers it’s really a nice training tool for sure.”
Behind Jennings in Race 2 were Marcum, Clark, Perisset, who came together with Zellers in turn-2, Ramsey and McIntosh completing the Top-10. Hynes and Zellers finished in 11th and 12th respectively. As a result of the contact, Zellers had to retire from the race, but Perisset was able to work his way back into the Top-10.
After eight rounds, Thievin leads the overall standings ahead of Perisset. Thanks to a win and four podiums in the last four rounds, Eagleton lies fifth overall. With a driver’s worst two rounds being dropped from the points table and a double points on offer at the season-ending weekend in Las Vegas, the EXR Racing Series title is still very much in play. Drivers will have four more rounds over two weekends to stake their claim on the championship.
The EXR Race Series heads to Southern California on October 1-2 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for rounds 9 and 10, and it all wraps up back in Las Vegas on November 11-12.
For drivers interested in an endurance racing format, EXR Racing Series is proud to announce the UFD 250 at the Exotics Racing Las Vegas track on October 30. The UFD 250 will be a three-hour race and is open to teams of two or three drivers per car. In the event of a mechanical problem on a team’s assigned car, a spare will be provided to keep you in the race. Endurance Race from $3,500 per driver. For more information, visit exrseries.com.
See full Sonoma race results here:
See Sonoma race photo here:
Check out the previous Las Vegas race highlights:
Sonoma Special Awards
See Driver Standings here:
Cleo Premat, Director of Communication
Chloe Mortaud, Public Relations