With more than 800 miles of racing done at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance, a new leader emerged Saturday night, with Ryno Racing Team 2 moving to the head of the pack.
The Ginetta G57 was leading as of 8 p.m. PST after spending most of the day playing catchup by turning a scorching 1:37.963-minute lap on the 3-mile-long road course.
The team’s other Ginetta was in an accident early in the race, but it was back on track within 30 minutes and has been slowly climbing the ladder.
“Obviously here you’ve got to keep the car moving, that’s all it is,” said Randy Carpenter, team owner. “We’re just going to go out there and keep rolling along and hopefully we won’t have any gremlin problems.”
The current standings can be found here.
Here’s a look at the class leaders on Saturday at 8 p.m.:
Some of the best racing in the past nine hours has been in the E0 class where teams are trading the lead. This time it was Cervelli Technical Services Team’s turn at the top of the class order.
The team turned its best lap of 1:58.044 in the Porsche Boxster to assume first-place in the class.
“I think for us it’s really just super consistent pit stop strategy, staying off the dirt,” said crew member E.J. Bennett, later adding, “We have great respect for everybody sitting below us right now.”
A new leader has emerged in the E1 class with Trim-Tex Racing moving ahead of leader Team MoreWood Racing, which dropped to third place. Second-place in the class is occupied by Team Technik is full speed ahead racing into the night.
“We need to make sure we keep the equipment for the end,” said driver Cameron Cassels. “We’ll get a rhythm at night and we expect there to be less (tire) grip at night than during the day.”
It’s not often that a team will turn its fastest lap in the dark, but that’s what KD Motorsports owner Kevin Doyle did during his turn behind the wheel on the dark road course. Doyle was on average 4 to 8 seconds faster than his competitors in the class, said crew chief David Stenner.
“It was a great stint for us. It really helped solidify where we’re at,” Stenner said. “The last I looked we were three laps up, but still a long race to go. This is nowhere near being finished.”
Team RAmotorsports40 continues to build on its lead, holding an 11-lap lead over current second-place holder CorkSport Performance. RAmotorsports40 has essentially held the lead from the start in the E3 class.
“We’re feeling good. Our car is running good and our drivers are feeling good,” said crew chief Steve Holifield. “We’ve been lucky so far. We’ve got a good team.”
The Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8LMS has been bouncing around at the top of the overall field Saturday night and has built a one-lap lead in the eight-team ES class.
Scott Jasmund, data engineer for the Audi R8LMS racecar, has been watching as the Ginetta has been slowly pulling away from the pack.
“There’s a lot of time, a lot could happen,” Jasmund said, later adding, “We’ve done this enough times to know anything can happen.”
With a talented roster of drivers, Ryno Racing Team 2 is starting to flex its muscle out on track. The team took a three-lap lead in the ESR Class and extended the lead two more laps.
The team’s other Ginetta G57 was involved in a collision earlier in Turn 2. The team made quick work of the repairs. Team owner Randy Carpenter was proud of his crew’s quick work.
“We’ve gone from the bottom all the way back up,” Carpenter said.
The lone car in the class, Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche team has its sights set on the overall win. The team was in the top 10 as of 8 p.m. and continued to trade spots with other competitors.
The team has had a few issues with the gearbox, but the problem appears to have fixed itself, said team manager Thomas Blam.
“We’re still plodding along,” Blam said. “Hopefully we’ll move up a little bit, get a little more attrition. Obviously we don’t have the pace to run with the guys in front of us, but we’re hoping we get a little help.”