12.11.2009

RACE REPORT // THE 2009 NASA 25 HOURS @ THUNDERHILL

The 7th Annual NASA 25 Hours at Thunderhill presented by Mothers was yet another great race. The weather was perfect, with highs in the low 60’s and lows dipping into the 20’s, just what you would expect in the valley. The list for this years event was pretty deep at 72 entrants (11 of which where from the Pacific Northwest) and included teams from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, with more than 40 drivers representing those teams... [read more]


For the teams that come in Wednesday they would have two full days of testing on Thursday and Friday before qualifying would begin Friday evening.  

Drivers and crews spent both days working on the final setups for the cars as well as driver lineups and pit stops and driver changes.  

Of course this wouldn’t be endurance racing if you didn't have things go wrong! That said, on Friday evening the very dedicated crew of Frost Engineering Team Racing would spend most of the night changing engines on the 48 car.     

The standout cars for this years race would be two 997 GT3 cup cars entered by Mercer Motorsports #75 and Ehret Winery Racing #7.  

A few notable teams entered in this years race was the entry of #20 Nickel Motorsports Grip Industries Lexus IS300, the cars owner had recently been diagnosed with cancer.  Car #57 PHS Motorsports a 1991 325 was put together by high school students, once school was out the students came out to Thunderhill to help with crew duties. The iron man award goes out to Steven Gorriaran of Team Gorilla Racing/Driven Performance/Racer Motors,  Steve drove the entire race solo.  His pits stops where around two minutes, and included a port-a-potty near his pits.  The difference in the overall winning teams laps and Staves was only 107, keep in mind Steve was in a Miata and the other car was a 997 GT3 Cup car that was shared by five drivers...way to go Steve!!!

Just around 7:00pm the Team MER/Mazda 1 driven by Charles Espenlaub burst in to flames in front of the turn workers station at the top of the hill at turn 9. The safety crew was on the seen in seconds and was able to put out the flames but not before the car was a total loss, as for the driver he was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure due to the extreme heat from the car fire.  

As the sun started to make its appearance on Sunday morning it was evident what happened during the night. The paddock was strewn with cars in various conditions of running and not.  During the night many teams spent hours turning wrenches, Team Frost Engineering changed a second engine this time in the #40. BIGGSB racing spent some time fixing issues with its WRX that had a turbo fire at the end of pit lane. The Panoz DP-02 car of BMC Tool Racing also would have to call it a race due to an off that would break the only parts they did not have spares of.

For a look at more photos from the 2009 NASA 25 Hours at Thunderhill, click here

Photo/Editorial: Curtis Creager

1 comment:

  1. Love the Spoon Sports cars! Great photos Curtis!

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