Morse Doubles Up in EXR Race Series Opening Rounds.
Perisset and Connolly round out both podiums.
LAS VEGAS, 24 March 2017 – The 2017 EXR Race Series kicked off at the series’ home track, the EXR Driving Center, in Las Vegas, from March 24 to 26. Henry Morse – 16 years old driver and Pirelli World Challenge rookie of the year – drove to a double, taking the victory in both rounds 1 and 2. Proving he was on form, Morse also set the fastest lap of the race in both instances. In each round, David Perisset and Tim Connolly joined Morse on the podium, finishing in second and third places respectively.
Morse now leads Perisset in the championship standings with 112 points to Perisset’s 80. Connolly is third on 70 points.
One qualifying session determined the starting grid for both rounds, with each driver’s fastest lap determining their position for round 1 while their second-best lap awarded their starting position for round 2. Morse nabbed the pole for round 1 ahead of both Perisset and Connolly.
At the start of the first race, it was Connolly making the quick getaway passing Morse while at the same time Perisset slipped to third. Behind them, Christian Rochet and Mike Halverson overtook Mark Ramsey, to move up to fourth and fifth places respectively. Tomas Mejia – 13 years old junior driver from karting – also made a fantastic start jumping two places from ninth to seventh. Bill Hynes and Li Chang rounded out the field.
The action got hot on laps six and seven when Perisset leapt from third into the lead thanks to Connolly running wide in turn-2. Behind the Rochet held station in fourth place, followed by Ramsey, Halverson, Mejia, Hynes and Chang, and would remain so from lap-3 until the finish.
Morse made his move for the win to pass Perisset on lap-13, using lap traffic as his pick. Perisset refused to give up and stalked Morse to the end, finishing 0.927 seconds behind. Connolly was a further 2.4 seconds adrift.
Race 2 was a straightforward win for Morse, as he led from pole to checkers, distancing Perriset who ran second for the duration, by over six seconds.
Behind the two leaders, the action was anything but straightforward.
Connolly finished in third once again, but not before dropping to fifth place at the start and then battling Ramsey, Rochet, Hynes and Halverson along the way.
Hynes made a remarkable start, charging his way from eighth position all the way up to third place by lap-2. Unfortunately, his race came to an end on lap-12, while running in fifth place.
Halverson also had an action-packed race. He finished in fifth place, one better than he started. However, he ran as high as third place and slipped as low as seventh place. Similarly, Rochet bounced around the field from fifth place to sixth place up to third place until he settled for fourth place at the finish.
The running order was finally settled on lap-13 until the finish on lap-18. The final order at the checkered flag was Morse, Perisset, Connolly, Rochet, Halverson, Ramsey, Mejia, Chang and Hynes.
The next stop on the 2017 EXR Sprint Series schedule is a visit to Spring Mountain Motorsport Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada on April 22-23.
Cleo Premat, Director of Communication