The order atop the podium in ES was the same as the overall finish. First in ES was first overall. Second in ES was second overall and the story was the same for third-place finisher, Team Prototype Development Group, which has had its share of difficulties at Thunderhill, with DNFs and car fires among them.
2015 wasn’t without its difficulties for Team Prototype Development Group, either. They had an ignition issue halfway through the race that cost them eight minutes in the pits. They lost radio communication for eight hours and their starter quit so they had to push-start it every time they shut it off. Still, the team finished third on a set of Toyo rain tires with nine hours on them, yet still had a ton of tread left.
“I think one of the biggest things was running WERC all year and just practice, practice, practice,” said driver Mike Holland. “What was really fantastic was the rain. We were unstoppable in the rain. If we had more rain, we would have been further up. This car is amazing in the rain.”
ES is where the fast cars play and usually the class that produces an overall winner. Team Quick Racing Products’ owner Chris Durbin knows this as well as anybody. After encountering some electrical problems in 2014, Durbin’s team took third in class and fourth overall. This year was different, and Team Quick Racing Products took second in ES and overall.
“We didn’t have too many problems and we stayed running,” Durbin said. “That was basically it. We got our issues out of the way kind of early. We had a few issues early on but it was pretty flawless. We put some defrosters in there and it wasn’t so bad.”
Without question, Flying Lizard Motorsports was the team to beat all weekend. With backing from Toyo Tires, the Sonoma Raceway-based pro team remained largely in the top three all race long and took home all the biggest trophies at the finish, taking first in ES and the coveted overall win.
“The goal was first to win the class, but to win overall is a bonus,” said driver Darren Law. “Probably the toughest part in the rain was the traffic and the differential of speed among the cars, but other than that, the car was hooked up, really nice.
“As far as our results here, it was a success,” he added. “We were fast. The tires were phenomenal, and it was good for the team. It was good prep. We’re looking at other 24-hour races, you know, Daytona and other stuff that we do.”