DAYTONA, FL – After being forced to miss qualifying and start from 16th, Ernstone once again showed his might at Daytona with another incredible charge to the lead. With a broken right foot, he diced it up with every TCR car on track and handed over a spotless machine to Morley with just under two hours remaining in the race.
Morley left the pits into open space and started rattling off consistent laps while waiting for the imminent full course yellow. Shortly after the yellow came, he was scrapping for second place with Tim Lewis and Brian Henderson.
Biding his time, Morley was happy to sit back and watch as the other drivers battled as if it was the final lap of the race. Unfortunately, he didn’t sit quite far enough back to get out of the splash zone.
Entering the bus stop with over an hour to go in the race, Henderson put his car in no man’s land a quarter of the way up alongside Lewis. Morley sensed trouble and left room to the duo on the way in. Henderson hit Lewis and both cars started to head left, so Morley dove for the second apex of the bus stop. However, as he did, Henderson’s car released off the back of Lewis’ and darted back to the right, directly into Morley’s path.
The team was extremely disappointed to start their season this way, but they will be back with a vengeance at Sebring on March 19th, where they will be debuting a new Audi. The new car features a sequential gearbox and a lightweight update kit aimed at closing the gap to the mighty Hyundais. They are excited to see what it can do, after the #17 Audi with a similar package showed great pace on its way to victory at Daytona.
You can watch a full replay of the Daytona race on TrackPass.