With the leader already logging more than 900 miles at NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance, drivers settled in for a long night of racing under the stars.
While Crowdstrike/One Motorsports continues to extend its overall lead, a good battle for second-place is shaping up between the Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche RSR and the Radical being supported by One Motorsports/Hankook. The race goes until noon Sunday.
- HQ Autosport Racing has largest lead of the seven classes, running 17 laps ahead of its classmate Shift Up Now.
- There have been no full-course cautions in the first 10 hours of the race.
Class leaders at 9 pm:
The El Diablo Motorsports team has already seen it all in the first 10 hours in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race. The team has run out of gas, damaged a right front splitter and is dealing with significant tire wear. Despite the obstacles, the team has moved into first-place in the 10-car E0 field.
“The car is easily the fastest in the field,” said Navid Kahangi, crew chief for El Diablo Motorsports. “The pace is so good, we’re easily 2 to 3 seconds ahead of the field.”
The E1 class is providing some of the most balanced competition at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, and the 2018- ART Racing team continues to hold onto its slim lead over MoreWood Creative.
“We knew most of the BMWs were going to be pretty close on time. They’re all pretty similarly built, so we knew it was going to be close,” said Gary Rubio, crew chief. “It’s all about execution and seeing what we can do on lap times.”
The team had to fix a broken stud and will likely need to do a pad and rotor change during the night, but so far has avoided any mechanical gremlins.
HQ Autosport Racing team has built the largest lead in all of the classes racing at 25 Hours of Thunderhill, amassing a 26-lap lead over the Shift Up Team.
But co-owner Paul Quattrocchi isn’t about to ask his drivers to slow down to preserve the car. He says the team hasn’t been pushing the car too hard so far during the endurance race.
“It’s hard to tell a racecar driver you have to go slower,” Quattrocchi said with a laugh. “Sometimes you back off and you’re not in your rhythm. We’re going to keep doing this through the night and hopefully watch the sunrise.”
Team Neth Racing Works was busy in its paddock making a repair to the right front wheel after the car was damaged in a crash. Even with the incident the team was still leading the competitive E3 class.
“We were coming through Turn 7 and a car lost control got sideways as we were coming through and he ran into us, so that caused the damage,” said driver Josh Allan. “We were able to run for three stints, but the car had some vibration. We felt like we could run consistent times, but it got worse.
“I’m not sure we could have done two more laps. We stayed out as long as we could.”
The team dropped to third place in the E3 class but was confident it could make up the ground it lost during the night.
Early mechanical issues put TOYO Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports behind the eight ball, but the team is proving to be the model of consistency at 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The team put up the fastest lap in the ES class with a 1:45.595 on the 3-mile track and has a seven-lap lead over Prototype Development Group.
Overall the team is currently the second-fastest in the field.
A mechanical issue with the frontrunner gave the opening CrownStrike/One Motorsports needed, and the team has taken advantage of it in a big way. The Radical SR3 is up 13 laps over teammate One Motorsports/Hankook.
“Right now, we’re very fortunate that our car has been very reliable. The guys at One Motorsports have done a fantastic job to build two cars, knock on wood, running flawlessly,” said Mike Johnson. “That’s on the plan we can stick to is keep them running and do a good job. We still have 15 hours left and I don’t think anybody expects these cars to make it 25 straight hours without an issue. We’ll just keep chugging along until something goes and we’ll deal with it.”
Jester & Babbitt Motorsports is running unopposed in GT Challenge and sixth overall at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, steadily climbing the overall rankings. The team’s best lap time remains at 1:52.894.