If you look up and down the grid before the start at Thunderhill, you notice that most of the hardware is pretty new. This isn’t a race that lends itself to vintage tin. Don’t tell that to KD Motorsports, which took a car built when Ronald Reagan was president, and took home all the marbles in E2.
Their BMW E30 didn’t have the quickest pace in E2. That mantle belonged to Team RDR Racing in the No. 34 RX-8 known as “Kermit.” Yeah, it’s green. The RX-8 was running laps 3 seconds quicker than KD Motorsports, but this is Thunderhill, where anything can happen — and often does. During an extended caution period, the RX-8 ran low on fuel and had to come in and sit because rules forbid refueling while the yellows are out. They sat for 10 minutes. Apparently, it’s not easy being green.
“We were happy with our pace. We had no pit lane penalties. We had no driver penalties, no on-track incidents, never off track, so from that perspective, we drove really well,” said driver Lee Papageorge. “We were a little unfortunate in that we got caught out with no fuel during an extended yellow period and there was one in particular that cost us about five laps, and probably the race.”
KD Motorsports ran the entire event without incident. When the race was over, the car was dirty, but there wasn’t a scratch on it.
“It was flawless. We had an incredible crew and a great driver lineup and no mistakes made,” said driver and owner Kevin Doyle. “We just ran flawlessly the entire time. The car held together, our pit stops were quick and fast and our drivers were fast all through the night. It couldn’t have gone any better. Not one thing went wrong.”
Just behind, the race for third was a nail-biter. Good Times Racing and Gone Racing Team TFB had been trading positions and mixing it up all night. When it counted, though, when the clock counted down the last hours of the race, the two were running fourth and fifth behind Team El Dorado Racing. During the last hour, the two were competing for third, each on the same lap.
In the end, Team Good Times Racing came out on top, a sweet podium finish for a team that was dealing with a bent tie rod for most of the race on top of blowing its engine during Friday practice. They replaced it with a well-worn engine that was sitting at Haag Performance waiting to be rebuilt. The motor held together, but the team burned seven gallons of oil during the race. Yes, gallons.
“With the bent tie rod, we were going through left-front tires all the way down to the cords,” said driver Donna Gilio. “At the end of the race, we were on the same lap of the race with Gone Racing, which finished fourth. They were coming after us. It was probably the closest race in this year’s 25.”