New Drivers and a New Winner Highlight EXR Racing Series Second Round
Preville and Thievin Score Wins
MONTEREY, CA – The EXR Racing Series came to the picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for its second race-event featuring five new drivers to the series. Among those making their EXR debuts were Pierre Preville of France who has previously competed in the European Le Mans Series and Formula Renault along with Taiwanese drivers: Sheng Ping Yuan, Max Chen and Alvin Hung. Also new to the Series is American Clayton Schroeder and Frenchman Gerard Thievin. Bill Hynes and Lisa Clark returned after making their race debuts at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas nearly a month ago as did racers: Romain Thievin and David Perisset.
The weekend kicked-off with the announcement of the EXR Racing School, using the LV02 race car, is now open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with programs from one to three days. Schools will feature one-on-one coaching from professional drivers Tristan Vautier and Alexandre Premat. Also available is the EXR TT Series, where drivers have the chance to perform in the LV02 over 12 laps for $690. Best times go onto a leader board to qualify drivers for a shootout finale with prize money on the line.
Both of the weekend’s races featured an abundance of action throughout the field. In Race 1, on Saturday, Preville used a late-braking move going into turn 1 of the opening lap to out-fox pole-sitter Thievin. However as the pair completed lap one, Thievin returned the favor to retake the lead. They would continue to run nose-to-tail over the 2.2-mile rolling circuit until the final two laps.
“Those laps were the most stressful laps of my life, I had Sheng closing the gap in third place and I was myself closing the gap with Romain. In the last lap, I was able to brake later in the first corner, and pass Thievin. I made 2 small mistakes but fortunately everything went great and I was able to win the race!” recounted race winner Preville.
Thievin was able to hold off Sheng for second place while the Taiwanese driver rounded out the podium: “Unfortunately, I braked too late in turn 1 of the last lap and Pierre took the lead,” said Thievin. “I tried to overtake him again in the last turn but it was too late.”
“The car is fantastic and easy to control: it was an exciting race,” said Yuan afterwards, clearly happy with his result. “I have experience in rally, go-karts and tuning car in Taiwan and China, but this is one of the best race I did so far! Driving on that track with the LV02 is really fun.”
Max Chen was able to preserve his grid position to finish just off the podium in fourth place while Hung improved one place to finish in fifth place. Bill Hynes was also able to improve a place, finishing in sixth position. Clayton Schroeder had an eventful race that included a spin forcing him to battle back to regain the places he lost. Unfortunately, mistake in Turn 10 at the end of race relegated him to seventh place. Gerard Thievin and Lisa Clark respectively rounded out the field in eighth and ninth places.
For the second race of the weekend on Sunday, David Perisset joined in on the action replacing Race 1 winner Preville, and would start from the outside of the front row despite a lack of track time. Once more Romain Thievin led the race from the pole, but as in Race 1, a bad start saw him relinquish the lead to Perisset. It took a pair trips around Laguna Seca for Thievin to reclaim the lead, which he duly held to the end, ahead of Sheng Ping Yuan who drove well to improve on his third place from Race 1 by finishing second overall.
Race 2 took place on Sunday, May 1, under warm and partly sunny skies. The grid saw a few drivers’ trade places from their Race 1 grid positions. Thievin was again on pole but this time had Johais sharing the front row. Burt Jenner was inside of row 2 alongside Perisset, up one place from Race 1. Caitlyn Jenner once again started from fifth on the grid. Hynes and Halverson swapped spots this time around in sixth and seventh respectively. As in Race 1, Ramsey, Clark and Stephens rounded out the field.
“It was a great race,” commented Thievin. “After Sheng passed David, he was really fast so I kept focused on my first position, and finished 1.5 second ahead of him. What a good race, especially for the championship, that I now lead!” Yuan was understandable elated after the race.
“I am so happy about this second position,” said Yuan. “I really improved with the car since yesterday, and had so much fun overtaking David during the race. That was a great battle for the second position. I will definitely be back for the race in Las Vegas! The EXR Team is so professional, it was a great weekend!”
Perisset completed the podium in third place – his best result so far in the EXR Race Series. Schroeder finished in fourth realizing some of the promise he showed during Race 1 by running virtually mistake-free, and even closing the gap to Perisset toward the end. Chen finished with a strong run while once more Hynes solidified his second, sixth-place of the weekend. Completing the field were Gerard Thievin in seventh place, followed by Lisa Clark and Alvin Hung, respectively in eighth and ninth places.
The next round of the EXR Racing Series will be evening races on their own Exotics Racing 1.5 mile road course, under the lights!
See full race results here:
See Races Photos here:
Special Awards of Laguna Seca
|Best Senior:||Max Chen|
|Best Lady:||Lisa Clark|
|Best Junior:||Clayton Schroeder|
2016 Driver Standings:
|1.||Romain Thievin||190 pts|
|2.||Bill Hynes||112 pts|
|3.||David Perisset||97 pts|
|4.||Lisa Clark||92 pts|
|5.||Burt Jenner||90 pts|
|6.||Sheng Ping Yuan||75 pts|
|7.||Caitlyn Jenner||70 pts|
|8. – TIE||Fred Johais||62 pts|
|8. – TIE||Michael Halverson||62 pts|
|10.||Max Chen||60 pts|
|11.||Clayton Schroeder||58 pts|
|12.||Alvin Hung||54 pts|
|13. – TIE||Pierre Preville||50 pts|
|13. – TIE||Mark Ramsey||50 pts|
|13. – TIE||Gerard Thievin||50 pts|
|16.||Jeff Stephens||40 pts|
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Cleo Premat, Director of Communication
Chloe Mortaud, Public Relations