Hill and Morse Start Last and Finish First in Second EXR Endurance Race.
Two-hour endurance race provides plenty of action throughout the field.
LAS VEGAS, 24 March – The second EXR Endurance Series race of 2017 at the Exotics Racing racetrack in Las Vegas witnessed the remarkable fun of Christopher Hill and Henry Morse who started the eight-car race at the back of the grid before methodically picking their way to the front over two hours of racing. Polesitters Tomas Mejia and Romain Thievin overcame a bad start that dropped them to third before fighting back to finish in second place. The final step on the podium belonged to the pairing of Mark Ramsey and Tristan Vautier. They had to work hard for their result starting second on the grid and dipping as low as sixth place before rebounding to third place.
In accordance with the EXR Endurance Series format, each driver pairing is comprised of one pro and one amateur driver with the pro required to start the race. The pit window for driver changes opened on laps-27, 48 and 70 of what would turn out to be a 99-lap race. Each pitstop is mandated to last five minutes, allowing for safe driver changes, and any required service to take place. As result, it’s not the speed of the pitstop that plays a role, but the strategy of when to take it that can prove decisive.
As is often the case with endurance races, the start plays a large role in determining the outcome, and this race was no exception. Not a single car finished the first lap from the position in which they started. The biggest winner of the start was Alexandre Premat who was paired with Bill Hynes. Premat went from sixth to second place, and eventually into the lead for 10 laps. The middle of their race, however, didn’t live up to the start. It would cost them the lead as they fell to fourth place where they would finish the race.
Ramsey and Vautier also made the best of their start, jumping into the lead from the outside of row 1. They too suffered during the middle stint, dropping to sixth place. Thanks to a strong final stint, they were able to recover to claim the last step on the podium.
The only other team to gain places at the start were Hill and Morse. Together, the pair never skipped a beat as the only team to continuously gain positions throughout the race. At the start, Hill climbed from eighth place to fourth. Between laps-40 and 50, they rose to second place. At last, with 20 laps remaining, they assumed the lead of the race, and never looked back to cap a remarkable run for the win.
Mejia and Thievin were left to rue their weak start. Like Hill and Morse, they too made steady progress through the field to recover the lead by lap-42 when Mejia passed Hynes. Both drivers would remain in the battle for the lead, being joined by the charging Hill. In the end, Hill proved to be faster, forcing Mejia to settle for the runner-up position by a meager half second after two piece hours of racing.
Race 3 of the EXR Endurance Series will take place at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada on April 22-23.
Cleo Premat, Director of Communication