LAS VEGAS, NV – Road Shagger Racing started the season off on a high, taking their second Daytona victory in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. According to co-driver/coach Jon Morley, it was Gavin Ernstone’s finest drive in the 15 years they’ve worked together. For his part, Laguna-specialist Morley hopes to find a TCR seat for round 3 to keep his championship hopes alive.
The difficult decision to go part-time was made after round two in Sebring. In the race, Ernstone hit the wrong bump on cold tires in turn one and was launched into a death wiggle. He saved the wiggle, but the big slide threw him far off the normal line, where he and Nick Looijmans came together. That impact ricocheted him back to the right, where Jacob Deily’s Hyundai then took off the front end of his Simply Vegas Audi RS 3.
The resulting damage put a big dent in the team’s budget and as a result, they have decided to transition to a partial schedule for the rest of 2023. Currently, they will miss round 3 at Laguna Seca, but are planning to debut their new second-generation Audi RS 3 at Watkins Glen for round 4.
“It’s disappointing, as missing one round pretty much spells the end of any championship hopes,“ said Morley, who is still fifth in points in spite of the DNF. “But Laguna is my best track and I live close to it, so I’ll be at the track that weekend and will make it known beforehand that I’m available. Hopefully I can find a seat somewhere to keep the dream alive. I’m a Road Shagger driver for life, but I can’t drive for them if they’re not there. #science”.
Morley is the TCR class’s all-time lap leader at Laguna with 80 laps led. He also holds the current race lap record (1:33.585) and has a win and a second at the track since 2019. Morley taught at Laguna Seca with Skip Barber from ’05-‘12 and considers himself a specialist there, able to find hidden advantages in some of the more unique corners on the track. He is an FIA Bronze and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernstone also plans to be at Laguna Seca, but will be pursuing his other passions. Aside from racing, Ernstone specializes in drinking California wines and playing bad golf. He will Uber down from his home in Carmel to watch the race. If you happen to see him, please do not offer him anything to drink.
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 and their full racing schedule is available at RoadShagger.com.