Rookie Henry Morse grabs two podium finishes in first two Car races ever
Randy Hale and Joey Jordan Struggle to Come to Grips with New Tire Compound in TC
If the cliché about “All’s Well that Ends Well” is true, then all is very well with Hale Motorsports’ TCB class efforts. After a rocky day one where both cars faced technical issues and rule infractions, a long night by the crew ensured that the cars were perfect for Race 2 allowing Will Rodgers to bounce back from a crushing disqualification in Race 1 to take the victory.
“I really put the team in a bad position,” said Rodgers. “This program only came together last week, and my car was actually delivered straight to the track on Wednesday. None of us had ever even seen the car before we entered Circuit of the Americas and saw it parked on the side next to the track entrance.”
The TCB rules used in the Pirelli World Challenge are basically the same as used in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Club Racing with just a few small differences. It was those differences that caught out both Will and Henry in qualifying and Will in race 1.
Hale Motorsports TCB Team Manager Jim Jordan explains “In club racing the Mazda2 runs at a weight of 2350 pounds, with driver. Both #14 and #65 rolled over the scales over that weight, but our weight for pro racing had been raised two weeks before the race to 2380 and I had not caught the change. It was my mistake, pure and simple.”
The other issue is camber specifications. In club racing, they run street tires. The Pirelli Slick tire used in the Pirelli World Challenge puts a bigger strain on the suspension components which makes it harder to keep the correct camber settings. “The car Will bought is one of the best Mazda2’s in Club Racing, however that car never ran slicks. It took a fair amount of work just to make sure we could get to the maximum camber number never mind having the time to adequately lock it down for the race. We did our best for Will in race 1, but unfortunately the camber slipped during the race causing the car to fail tech.”
Jordan went on to describe March 4 as the worst day in his 40-year racing career. “I run legal cars. I can count on one hand the times one of my cars has failed tech and it has NEVER cost us a win until last Friday.” After the race, the crew worked late into the night adding the modifications to Will’s car that had been done to Henry Morse’s #14 car last season when Joey Jordan was driving that car to 4 straight victories.
Through it all Rodgers was philosophical. “For my first Pirelli World Challenge weekend, it was an amazing experience. I really need to thank Hale Motorsports, the entire Jordan family, and my marketing partners Solvang Brewing Co., Kelly Benefits, Dynotronics Tuning, Mazda and Pirelli World Challenge.”
Henry Morse was one of the revelations of the opening weekend. A long time Karting standout, Morse showed both great speed but also driving maturity far beyond his years. He had never raced a car before the Circuit of the America race, and strung together two podium finishes with 3rd place in both races. The 15-year-old racer without a street driver’s license leaves Texas leading the Rookie of the Year chase and near the top of the overall driver standings. “I can’t believe what a great weekend it was,” said Morse. “It was so much fun racing that hard, that long, with so many awesome drivers. I can hardly wait to race my Hale Motorsports Morse GPS powered by CalAmp Mazda2 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park!”
Morse was near the top of the results every session. “Race 2 was pretty rough. There was lots of bumping and banging, but overall nothing unfair. It was good, tough, take no prisoners racing. I learned so much this weekend.”
On the Touring Car side of the garage, drivers Randy Hale and Joey Jordan struggled all weekend to figure out setup changes required by 2016 rules changes. “The team fought hard all weekend and we did the best we could with the cards we were dealt,” shared Hale. “As a team we will just go back to work to improve our results for the next race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.”
Hales best finish was 13th on Friday, with Jordan’s high point a 10th in the second race on Saturday. Jordan loved getting back into a rear wheel drive car but was not happy with the results. “I loved getting back in an MX 5 but I am not happy with where we ended up. I know we will use this event as motivation going north to Canada in May.”
The next Pirelli World Challenge race for Hale Motorsports will be May 19-22 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
For more information, please contact Jim Jordan (firstname.lastname@example.org 760.330.1691)