When racing resumed at 9:30 a.m., a couple of laps in the pace car was all it took to get the drivers and cars warmed up again, and it was back to green at the 2022 25 Hours of Thunderhill!
The rain had stopped and the fog had lifted. Forecasts showed a high-percentage chance of more rain, but so far it hasn’t materialized. In fact, there were patches of blue sky leading to a sense of hope that drivers might finally begin to be able to use all the horsepower they brought with them.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, ESR class and overall leader Crowdstrike by Riley had built a 67-lap lead over the second place MooreWood Creative White BMW E46. Some of the class battles were tightening up after some early troubles on the part of some teams put them back several laps. But this is the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, where anything can happen and often does.
Because of the fog delay, the race is scheduled to run till 3 p.m. Sunday. Here’s how the rest of the classes were shaping up at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
The E0 class has two cars this year, but it’s been a dogfight between Dig Motorsports and Tazio Ottis Racing, which have been separated by as many as six laps, and as few as one lap. At 11 a.m. Sunday, the gap was back to two laps, but with four hours of racing left, it’s game on. The track is dry and the fastest it’s been since qualifying on Friday afternoon. It will be interesting to see how these two vastly different cars — Dig’s Ford Mustang and Tazio Ottis’ Honda Civic — close out the race.
Honda Racing THRW1 has been running three and four laps ahead of second in class, sister car Honda Racing THRW2, but more importantly, both cars are running some 20 laps ahead of third place and well ahead of the fourth car in class. 2022 is shaping up better than 2021, when the team had to replace an engine during the race.
As mentioned in previous updates, MooreWood Creative White has been battling back and forth with its sister black car and Palomar Racing Thunder. It’s a continuation of the rivalry that began at this year’s NASA Championships and the 6.5-hour Seaside Cup at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in September. Less than five laps separate MooreWood Creative White and Palomar Racing Thunder, so E2 is looking like a sprint race till checkers. MooreWood Creative/Bay City Electric Black was running third at 11 a.m. Sunday.
With a well driven and well-set-up car, Lesher Motorsports 15 has had the E3 class lead by as many as 10 and as few as one lap for the entire race. That’s difficult to do, but it boils down to fundamentals. Competent pit stops from the Lesher Motorsports crew and drivers keeping the car out of trouble have kept the car on track and clicking off laps. At 11 a.m. Sunday, Lesher Motorsports 15 had a 10 lap lead over E3 pole-sitter Misfits Racing, and a 17-lap lead over sister car Lesher Morosports 54.
Ageless Bio Racing has been in chasing demons all weekend, spending ostensibly as much time in back paddock as it has on track. By 11 a.m. Sunday, the team had completed 316 laps compared with 534 of race leader Crowdstrike by Riley. Running unopposed in ENP, Ageless Bio Racing has the class lead.
Three Thieves Racing was running in the top three through the middle of the night, but the car went off track in the sloppy-wet dark of night in the fast Turn 7, and it took crews a few hundred feet of tow rope and strap to get the car out of the muck. By 11 a.m. Sunday, Three Thieves Racing had gotten back up to sixth overall, just eight laps off the overall podium. Running unopposed in ES, it remained first in class.
Entropy Racing continues to build on its success from 2021 and this year the team is on pace to shatter last year’s performance.
As the lone electric vehicle at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the car had already turned 400 laps on the 3-mile course, helping to validate the team’s racecar.
“The car is designed to go road racing, rain or shine,” said team owner Charlie Greenhaus. “This year was focused. We canceled the second half of our season in preparation for this event. We dedicated from maybe late July, late August to now just on this event. We just really felt it was the icing on the cake for us.”
The team had a bad re-entry on Turn 8 and tore the nose to shreds, which required about 40 minutes to fix. The car has been running with a vibration but Greenhau expects to finish the race.
Other than a few minor issues during the race, Kleen Blast/Davids Race Products has built a 40-lap lead in the GT class at 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
“When we started the race it was raining and we had to bring it in and so we lost about 30 minutes fooling around trying to get the air ducts going in and out, so that’s where the big time was lost,” said team owner and driver Tim Spurgeon. “Other than that, we had an issue with the alternator last night and we lost some time there. The car’s been running good mechanically. It’s just a little stuff that always gets you.”
Modified Racing led early in the endurance race but was trailing Kleen Blast/Davids Race Products by 40 laps as of 11 a.m. Sunday
Kleen Blast has competed every year since the 25 Hours of Thunderhill since it began as a six-hour event in 1993.