From slower lap times in practice sessions to skipping qualifying, Silver Fern Racing didn’t actively seek to keep its class competitors in the fog about its Mazda Miata’s performance. In fact, there were a couple of times Silver Fern Racing found itself chasing Hugo Parker LLP Racing, but mainly the team was running out front.
“We just worked the car. We didn’t overcook the car or work it too hard,” said driver Barry Thompson. “We do a lot of enduro racing, so we knew we didn’t have to win it in the early part. We just kind of took it easy and got out front right at the very start and held onto it.”
What makes the team’s 16-lap victory even more impressive is that three of the drivers had never driven the Thunderhill track prior to 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
“We ended up with a bunch of rookies — dirt bike guys or dirt track guys — and they did really well,” said Thompson, adding, “It’s not an easy race with all the fast guys out there. You’ve got to be really careful, but we’ve managed to do it.”
Hugo Parker LLP Racing started from first on grid, and bounced between first and fourth throughout the race. When the checkered flag flew, Hugo Parker LLP finished second in E3 and 25th overall.
Team Heyer Performance has long had a unique method of taking on the 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance. The team takes the green flag and races till the sun goes down. Then they head to town for a hot meal and a warm, quiet bed and return at dawn to resume racing till the checkered flag flies at noon. In all the years they’ve competed, they’ve never come in last, and in 2021, their performance was good enough for third place in E3.