You never really know what to expect at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance, and the start to the 2021 race was no exception.
For example, the pole-sitter, Team Crowdstrike/Mosaic Motorsports, spun on cold tires during the parade lap. Then, on lap one, the second-place car, Team TVI Racing suffered an overheated engine, which popped a hose loose, spilling fluid and causing it to spin in Turn 1 on lap one. In addition, fluid down in the last turn before the front straight, sent more cars off into the grass before lap two had even begun.
Once the teams began ticking off laps, the field began to settle into a familiar rhythm. Three hours in, here’s what the field looked like at 2 p.m. PST.
Team One Motorsports started from fourth on grid, but picked up two spots almost immediately when the No. 64 Team Crowdstrike/Mosaic Motorsports Duqene spun on cold tires on the parade lap and the No. 10 Team TVI Racing spun in its own spilled coolant in Turn 1.
“Since yesterday, we’ve been on plan A. There’s been many events to this point, but it’s been going good,” said team owner Jeff Shafer. “This is our 11th year and by far the best conditions, so I’m not going to complain. I also shouldn’t jinx it, too, because a hidden snow storm will come in all of a sudden.”
Jordan Missig was the lead-off driver and just made a driver change at 2 p.m.
The ES class is typically the domain of some of the fastest cars in NASA’s endurance classes, and as of 2 p.m., the third fastest was in the lead. Seattle’s Team Lowe Group Racing started from seventh on grid and second in class, thanks to the second place qualifier being penalized for missing the drivers meeting, but the team has clawed its way forward into the ES class lead and has been posting the fastest lap times in its BMW M3 GTR.
Running unopposed in EM, Team Entropy Racing EVSR is running first in class and in 30th overall. The battery-powered car must be “refueled” every 30 minutes with fresh batteries that attach to both sides of the car. It’s the first time an electric vehicle has raced in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance.
Spoon Sports took advantage of some early issues from top E0 class qualifier Dragonfly Motorsports to take an early lead. DIG Motorsports is keeping it close, running 1 lap behind the leader Spoon Sports. Running a Honda Civic, Spoon Sports had a top lap time of 2:01.403.
Team Tazio Ottis Racing built an early five-lap lead over Funduro Racing, which is currently sitting in second place. Running neck-and-neck with Funduro Racing is Honda Racing THRW 2, trailing by just a lap. The best lap times in the front three in class (2:02) are all within a tenth of a second.
The class has some of the tightest racing of all the classes. Five teams are all within three laps of one another, with Moorewood Creative Black currently holding the lead. Slipstream Performance, FRASUN Racing and Legacy Motorworks round out the top four spots, respectively. Fifth-place team Moorewood Creative White has put down the fast lap time of 1:59:147.
In the battle of the Miatas, Silver Fern Racing holds an early three-lap lead over Heyer Performance. On Friday, Silver Fern Racing was the second-fastest qualifier, putting down a top lap time of 2:13:702. Today’s lap times are much stronger with a best lap time of 2:09.889 on lap 16.
Team Black Swan Search is making good use of its first-in-class starting position. The team has been logging the fastest laps in class and is now one lap ahead of its nearest competition, Team Jersey Boys +1, which is running in a car built and crewed by a team of auto shop students from Placer High School in in Auburn, Calif.