Hey Jeff- I'm fairly sure Chris has a plan to make sure things run on time, since he knows how long the laps are going to run. With the long course, they could start the following class while the tail end of the previous class is finishing up, and still wouldn't see much if any overlap. I trust he'll come up with something to make sure people start on time. No matter what, though, it's going to be a long race. Everyone's definitely getting their money's worth with great singletrack.
One hour laps are going to be tough to maintain. Much respect to any expert who can turn in a third lap under an hour!
The difficulty in this course is threefold- a dozen or so sadistically technical spots (all 100% rideable if you've got the skills), a significant amount of vertical (est. over 1500 feet of climbing per lap), and the way it flows- there's tons of small ups and downs, so there's no real time to recover.
Out of 9 miles of trail, the carriage roads make up a mile or less of the course. It's VERY singletrack heavy, and benefits the folks who like to ride trails over the guys who like to hammer the fireroads...