It’s not unusual for teams to use the entire season to prepare for the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance, and the 17th running of the race is no exception.
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nev., the One Motorsports team is a regular at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. After all, the team won ESR in 2018 and 2017, and took third in 2016. It typically fields two radical SR3 cars in ESR, but this year the team is bringing one Radical and something entirely new: a Ligier JS P3 car, one of two Ligier P3 prototypes to compete at this year’s event.
“We are doing our normal preparations for the 25: Rebuild cars from ground up and strengthen our weaknesses,” said One Motorsports team principal Jeff Shafer. “We are also running a P3 car this year, so we are wandering into a little bit of uncharted territory.”
K2R Motorsports also is bringing a Ligier JS P3 to Thunderhill this year. Look for these two cars to be on the front row come race time.
Another regular at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, Team Technik Competition has competed in E1 and E2 in recent years, notching a third-place finish in E1 in 2018 and a fifth in E1 in 2017. Chasing its first class win, Team Technik Competition is returning to Thunderhill with its fully developed 2002 BMW 330 chassis. Team principal Peter Hopelain said the car and the team is prepared. The car is essentially the same as it was when they campaigned it at Thunderhill last year, except for a brand-new graphics package.
“The E2 field is so competitive. Once your car is on the edge of the rules, your team is where we feel we will find the gains in the race, and a better car in the middle of the night,” Hopelain said. “We felt that we could make more strategic decisions with more data from the car, so for 2019 that is where I think we have done the most work.”
Changes to the rules structure meant 2018 E1 class winner Team MooreWood Creative is moving to E2. It’s proven 330i chassis is the weapon of choice again for 2019 and team principal Larry Moore has been examining areas and processes the team can improve upon and building on the successes they had last year.
“The biggest hurdle was with the new NASA ST rule set changes and figuring out which class our car would fit best, that ended up being E2,” Moore said. “Once that was complete, we went about our typical plan of getting our driver roster locked in by August, early September, scheduling test days and pit crew practice time, and securing many of our seasoned crew from the previous two 25s for 2019. There is a lot of front-end work and preparation to run a 25-hour endurance race, and we try to be as prepared as possible as early as possible to have the best chance at success.”
The racing action begins Saturday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time and ends at noon the following day.