This time, it’s personal. The Ford Performance Racing School will re-enter the fray at the 2017 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance, to claim the class victory that slipped through its fingers in 2008.
For 2017, the Ford Performance Racing School has entered two Mustang Boss 302FRS cars from the school’s stable, prepped and supported 100 percent by school employees. In fact, the same shop techs who prepare these cars for NASA Utah Region races are leading the charge here.
“The crew, top to bottom, will be from our race shop,” said Dan McKeever, owner of the Ford Performance Racing School. “They take care of our cars. Our operations team, our sales team. Anyone who wanted to come, we’re bringing with us.”
A team from the Ford Performance Racing School entered the 2008 running of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Driving a Ford Mustang, the team was leading the event overall with a mere 30 minutes remaining, only to have a pinion bearing fail, and they finished a respectable, but disappointing, third in class. Needless to say, they feel they have some unfinished business.
Driving one entry will be full-time FPRS employees, and instructors, Dan McKeever, Brian Smith, Ty Hamill and Drew Staveley.
The second car is a race rental supported by the school, with lead drivers Frank and Jenny Gannett, both graduates of the school’s NASA Licensing program. Frank is currently active in Pirelli World Challenge, driving a G55 Ginetta, and Jenny will be running the Global MX-5 Cup next year. Joining the Gannetts in the second car will be Brandon Davis, a contract instructor at FPRS, Paul Terry, who drives in the Super Trofeo North America series and Ian Lacy, who owns and manages the Ginetta shop that Frank Gannett uses, and is himself an accomplished formula car driver.
FPRS instructor and engineer Brian Vinson, and Brenden Johnson, an FPRS instructor and engineering student at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, will lead the crew of about 15 to service both cars during the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
“So, this race, the timing is good and it’s just something fun for us to do as a team. We can get away from our shop, the same racetrack we’re at every single day, and go out and have some fun,” McKeever said. “We’ve been looking forward to doing this for a long time. We’re going to have as much fun as possible, but at the same time, we’re all competitive, so we’re going to be looking to win.”