SEBRING, FL – When Road Shagger Racing first joined the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in 2018, Ernstone and Morley struggled to fathom how they would be able to get their driver change time under 50 seconds. Fuel is typically the limiting factor during most IMPC pit stops and it can take 45-50 seconds; but there are situations where the driver change can be the deciding factor and a 50 second driver change is simply unacceptable.
After refining their routine and practicing many, many times; Ernstone and Morley now routinely execute sub-30-second driver changes. They knew Ernstone’s broken leg would hamper their efforts at Sebring, but their practice stops had gone smoothly and they never anticipated the train wreck they would experience in the race.
Ernstone had a good opening stint to the race, starting in 9th and moving up to 6th by the time he entered pit lane to hand the car over to Morley. He hit his marks and Morley jumped off the wall to start a routine driver change.
Unfortunately, jumping off the wall proved to be the only routine aspect of the stop. The pair experienced issues with pretty much every single thing that needed to be unplugged and replugged, before the longest driver change in the history of the world mercifully stumbled to a close 70 seconds later. Morley rejoined the race in 13th and last.
Over the final 40 minutes, Morley went from 13th to 3rd and had just two turns left to take an improbable comeback podium. Unfortunately, in turn 16, Mikey Taylor -still smarting from getting shoved out of the lead and pushed back to 4th six turns earlier- lunged into an overly-optimistic passing attempt.
Morley saw it coming and gave him all the room he could, but Taylor still got into his door and knocked his left side wheels off the road at the exit. That allowed Taylor to sneak by and the team had to settle for 4th place and a nice haul of points.
All in all it was a great day. After the uncertainty leaving Daytona, just to be on track and back in the championship hunt felt like a win for everyone involved. The team did an amazing job prepping the new car and we have no doubt they’ll do just as well repairing all the damage from Sebring.
Make sure to catch our next at Laguna Seca live on Peacock April 30th at 7 PM ET!
Road Shagger Racing is a professional motorsports team racing in the TCR class of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. They race an Audi RS 3 LMS TCR SEQ and are sponsored by Streamline Home Loans, Simply Vegas Real Estate, The Simply Group, Clear Title and Race For RP. All of their races are available for live streaming on NBC’s Peacock.