Nash Morris and Alice Buckley win QR Excel enduro
Monday 25th September, 2023 - 11:57am
The longer second endurance race for the Track Attack EFS Excel Cup over 96 laps of Queensland Raceway on the National Circuit was won by Alice Buckley and Nash Morris.
The team went for an earlier pit stop for Buckley to hand over to Morris as the second Safety Car appeared. It proved to be an almost a masterstroke, marred as they incurred a drive-through penalty for a fuelling infringement which didn’t affect them in the end.
They finished 5.8s ahead of the Saturday enduro winners Conor Roberts and Ryan Casha who had negated most of a 34.5s deficit in their chase of the leader. Third place went to Cameron McLeod and Tyler Collins who kept Cooper Barnes and Steve Owen at an arm’s length, eight seconds in the closing stages.
Roberts led from the start, ahead of Jaylyn Robotham, McLeod, Treigh Maschotta and Buckley when the first Safety Car was deployed. Cody Tucker was bunkered at Turn 3, and Josh Dremel was stopped on the main straight.
After the race pace returned, Roberts was swamped and dropped to seventh as McLeod went to the lead. Then Barnes had a turn in front and had the lead when the second Safety Car emerged as officials extracted Karlai Warner from the gravel trap at Turn 1.
Buckley was the first of the front-runners to pit and Gavin Faulkner was the last as he surrendered the lead to Morris 30 laps from the end. Morris had a handy lead and despite Casha’s charge, pulled out fast laps when he needed to.
Shane Mahoney and Jarred Hughes finished fifth after an early setback of a spin at Turn 3. A lap down in sixth were Boylett and Jett Murray ahead of Darren Whittington/Aaron Cameron, Gavin and Jackson Faulkner, and Josh Richards/Holly Espray.
Tenth place went to Warner who had Anton De Pasquale in the Racing Together entry. The second Racing Together car, with Braedyn Cidoni and Zane Goddard, pitted just before half distance, and the pool of oil underneath ensured it would go no further.
Maschotta and Zane Rinaldi were just outside of the top 10 and ahead of Brad Smith/Kyler Clemments, and Ed Mitchell/Jett Johnson while Robotham and Jack Wood were out with 20 laps to go. Thirty-one started and 20 were able to finish.