The highlight for the Spoon Sports team was letting company founder and president Tatsuru Ichishima drive the last half hour to bring home the checkered flag at 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The team had built up a 13-lap lead over DIG Motorsports, which finished second, allowing the 70-year-old Ichishima to race into retirement after finishing on top.
“I’m over the moon,” said Jay Tien, team manager for Spoon Sports’ U.S. operations. “The whole crew is in good spirits. It’s always good when you take the checkers.”
The Spoon Sports’ Honda Civic never had better than a 2-minute lap on the 3-mile course, but it didn’t matter because the team led from just after the start of the race and held the lead to the very end.
“It’s a great way to celebrate Tatsuru Ichishima’s impending retirement,” Tien said.
Coming in second was DIG Motorsports, which campaigned a Ford Mustang with a stock 4.6-liter three-valve engine with two weeks of prep time. They used a similar car and method in 2019 and got second that year, too.
“The car was flawless. Not one hiccup, no troubles. I put brake pads on it. That’s the same thing we did in 2019,” said team owner Jeremy Cuthbertson. “No gearbox issues and no contact.”
Steyn Motorsports was the picture of stability. The team started from third on grid, and 28 hours later finished in third, a position it held for the entire race.