The WERC season came with a bit of a twist this season, one that required a commitment from teams if they plan to win the Championship. This year, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill is part of the WERC points-paying races, but in the form of a 12-hour race run concurrently within the 25-hour event.
The Utah six-hour race was the longest race on the calendar, but no more. It’s now part of a 2019 calendar that requires teams to step up their game, and 36 cars lined up on grid in Utah to do just that.
When the green flag flew at Utah Motorsports Campu, Team Strom Motorsports was firmly in the season points lead in the E0 class. Team Strom took wins at Willow Springs, Buttonwillow and the inaugural enduro at Auto Club Speedway in May. And when the checkers flew, the team’s undefeated season was still intact, with just two races left to go in the season: the 3.5-hour race at Sonoma and the 12-hour event at Thunderhill in December.
Second place Team Valkyrie Autosport Toyo Tires is still within striking distance, so the season is by no means over. Team Rearden; Las Jefas finished second and Team Towne Storage finished third. Valkyrie finished fourth of four in class.
Team Performance Plus Tires has been firmly in command of the E1 class all season. Drivers Tom Paule and Karla Pestotnik have been on point all year as they have continued development and setup work on their BMW E36 M3. Each race the car gets a little better.
The event at Utah Motorsports Campus was a bit different for Team Performance Plus Tires in that they finished third, with Team German Auto Service ahead of them by two laps in second.
Team TAPG Motorsports, which has spent half this season in E2, ended up taking the big win by more than five laps over their nearest competitor. Even with its two wins at the first two events, Team TAPG is currently fifth in season points in E2, and now with its win in Utah, fifth in E1.
Team HQ Autosport got out of endurance racing for a little while, but it wasn’t long before the team was back with a new car, a BMW 128i and got back into the WERC series.
The team scored a third-place finish at the Willow Springs opener, a disappointing fourth after a collision at Buttonwillow and second place at Auto Club Speedway in May. In August at Utah Motorsports Campus, Team HQ Autosport came out on top with a big win by six laps over Team GOneppo Racing in second and Team SGS Motorsports in third.
Team HQ Autosport is leading the 2019 Championship by 15 points over Team GOneppo Racing and Team Technik/AGM.
Team Asphalt Einsteins has only competed in one WERC event this season, and at Utah Motosports Campus, the team edged the E3 win over current E3 points leader Team Abergel Motorsports. At checkers they were both on the same lap after six hours of racing. Team Driving Force Motorsport finished third.
Making its debut this year, the E3S class was devised to give spec-class cars like Spec Miatas, Spec E30s and 944 Spec Porsches a place to race without having to make any changes. Five cars gridded up in E3S in Utah. At the end, Team Driving Force 1 finished first, with Team TNT Racing in second and Team Fast Garage Miata third.
Currently Team Big Papa Brings the Heat leads the E3S class in season points, followed by Team Route 7 Motorsports and Team Ruined My 7 Series in third.
For the 2019 season, ES has been a toss-up between Team Valkyrie Autosport Toyo Tires 370Z and Team EXR Team by Premat/Vadja Autosport. To keep this part of the story short, we’ll call them Valkyrie and EXR.
Valkyrie took wins at Willow Springs and Buttonwillow, with a third-place finish at Auto Club Speedway and another third in August in Utah. Team EXR won at Auto Club and took second at Utah. Valkyrie leads the season points race followed by EXR and Team Desert Flight Racing.
At Utah, Team RHC Jorgenson/Strom Motorsports bested both the points leaders to take the win in Utah.
Due in no small part to the costs of the cars involved, ESR isn’t usually one of the larger classes at a WERC event, but it was in Utah, with eight cars taking the green flag.
Team Norma’s Last Chance took the win over Team TruSpeed in a Porsche 911, which finished on the same lap — 174 total — after six hours of racing. Team Harward Media took third in its Lamborghini Trofeo Cup car.