U.S. Race Car Driver Hal Prewitt Podiums in the 24 Hours of Barcelona to Advance in 24H International Endurance Series Top 10
Second-Place SP3 Finish In No. 160 Lotus Evora GT4 With Cor Euser and Huub Delnoij Tempered By Late Retirement Of No. 92 MARC Cars Australia Ford Focus While Leading SP2
BARCELONA, Catalunya, Spain (September 9, 2015) – Tech pioneer, fine-art photographer and accomplished race car driver Hal Prewitt had a race of mixed emotions this past weekend in the 24 Hours of Barcelona, where a second-place SP3 class finish in the No. 160 Drink Florida Orange Juice/Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora GT4 was tempered by the retirement of the No. 92 MARC Cars Australia Ford Focus that was knocked out of the SP2 class while leading in the late stage of the race.
Co-driving the Lotus with team owner, Cor Euser, and his Dutch countryman, 17-year-old Huub Delnoij, the runner-up placing allowed Prewitt to move to seventh out of 775 drivers in this year’s 24H International Endurance Series (IES), a professional sports car racing championship held throughout Europe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Only one race remains in the 2015 IES and Prewitt could take the title in that finale at the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic, October 9 – 10, with the right combination of finishes.
While seventh is the highest Prewitt has been ranked all season in the IES, the achievement was bittersweet in Barcelona after the No. 92 was knocked out of the race and the SP2 class lead just over four hours from the finish. Prewitt was at the wheel of the Focus when the car was rammed by an overly aggressive driver in the No. 88 Seat Leon. Prewitt was uninjured in the incident but was left completely distraught after victory was snatched away from his deserving co-drivers.
“Even with a podium finish in the 24 Hours of Barcelona, and moving up in this year's International Endurance Series Championship, I've had little interest in celebrating,” said Prewitt, who was disheartened in the post-race victory lane celebration. “I am extremely disappointed with the driving result and the pain inflicted on the No. 92 team. I was hit hard in the back and knocked into the gravel trap in Turn 5. Knowing it was not my fault, and that there was little I could have done, does not reduce the sadness I feel for our team's loss.”
Prewitt was competing in both the Lotus and Focus at Barcelona to double his chances of gaining points in the tight IES title race only to see the No. 92’s retirement hurt the championship hopes of one of his teammates, Peter Leemhuis.
“As the leading driver on our team in points, it’s not about one person, it’s the team that wins,” Leemhuis said. “I've just happened to be there, luck has been on my side in having winning cars and good drivers. This was my first time at Barcelona and the No. 92 is my championship car. The loss is disappointing, but this is racing, no one got hurt, I am fine and looking forward to the finale at Brno."
“Congratulations to Chantal Kroll for clinching the 24H Ladies' Cup and taking the lead in the championship at Barcelona,” Prewitt said. “She is a great driver and my early-season teammate. The IES Drivers' Championship will come down to a battle between the Top-10. Most of us have been teammates or are friends, so somewhat cruelly, how we finish the Brno race will decide who will win.”
The Brno finale is a 12-hour race, similar to May’s 12 hour at Zandvoort in the Netherlands where Prewitt, Euser and Delnoij won in the Lotus. They plan to race the same No. 160 Evora GT4 at Brno after nearly pulling off the Barcelona victory.
"The team did a fantastic job and made our finish possible,” Prewitt said. “It was a very close race as we were within 30 seconds off P1 at the end. We just simply did not have the power of the winning Porsche. A one-minute stop-and-hold penalty for speeding in a Code 60 caution area by six seconds was very costly, but in my Midnight to 2 a.m. stint I had a blast racing against our class winner.”
In addition to the SP2 class runner-up, the No. 160 finished 11th overall out of the 74 cars in the race. The Lotus completed 616 laps with Euser’s 2:01.470 time the No. 160’s best of the race.
"I am happy this race is over,” Euser said. “Racing 24 hours with only three drivers was hard work. Our team did a great job. The Lotus ran well. Our only problem was a loose wheel nut that caused some loss of time."
Teenager Delnoij continues to impress and put in some extra time behind the wheel of the Lotus when Prewitt was unable to drive his scheduled final shift after the accident in the Focus.
"This was a very hard race,” Delnoij said. “No time to rest and much traffic. Great feeling after 24 hours to finish second in class. I want to thank our very hard working crew. Without this team this finish wouldn't have been possible. Also many thanks to Cor and Hal for their great driving and support."
Prewitt and Leemhuis co-drove the No. 92 with team owner Ryan McLeod, Morgan Haber and Jade Edwards.
"The MARC cars are very reliable,” McLeod said. “My biggest concern about this race was the traffic and navigating the night with 75 other cars. It was great to have Hal with us, although it’s a shame the end result was not what either of us anticipated. I spoke to the Race Director and they are going to 'talk' to the driver of the 88 and make sure he is reprimanded, if not penalized, which is at least something, although it won’t help our current situation. I do need to race the 92 car at Brno, so we will have to crack on with the repair."
Before the Brno IES finale, Prewitt will next race at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany, September 25 – 27, in a 24-hour race for 2-liter cars. Prewitt and his teammates will compete in a Cor Euser Racing BMW 120D.
- Prewitt’s international racing adventures are being chronicled in a blog appearing for the remainder of the international racing season on leading sports car racing web site, www.SportsCar365.com. Look for the Barcelona report in the next couple of days.
- In addition to being a race car driver, inventor and technical pioneer, Prewitt is also an emerging fine-art photographer. He is opening a new gallery in Park City, Utah this year and always takes time to hone his fine-art photographic skills while traveling around the world. The Prewitt original below is a Blue Footed Booby on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
About Hal Prewitt
At just 14, Hal Prewitt obtained a junked car, rebuilt it and taught himself to drive. As a teen he began autocross racing, flying planes, painting, building electronics and programming. The combination would lead to a high-flying career in computer software and hardware, race car driving and, eventually, photography. He was 38 in 1992, when he sold his tech company to Sony and turned his full attention to parenting his two young sons. Later he pursued and became a successful international race car driver. A former elected official and an enthusiastic participant on several government, for profit and non-profit boards, Prewitt is at the top of his game in racing. He also manages investments, photographs, grows oranges and operates Prewitt Enterprises, LLC in Florida and Utah.
About Hal Prewitt Photography
Traveling the world on photo projects, business missions and attending races lets Prewitt explore amazing locations and capture a wide array of magical moments. Soon, his new gallery in Park City, Utah, will display many of his majestic wildlife and landscape images which have become collectors’ items. “Capturing a great scene is not unlike winning a race,” Prewitt said. “When it all comes together at that ideal spot and special moment, it’s that unique experience like winning each race, a moment that will never be repeated.”
(Race images provided by Gabor and Karin at NoSpeedLimits.nl and Tom Lafleur)
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