In a historical event at Sonoma Raceway, Round 4 of the 2013 Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) began before sunset and raged three hours into the night to be the first NASA race under the lights at the twisty course in the Sonoma hills. This was to be the last WERC race before the season finale during the 2013 25 Hours of Thunderill. The nighttime event in Sonoma gave teams a chance to test their lighting setups before the big race.
The action began at 4 p.m. as thirty-six cars took the green flag with six different classes (ESR, ES, EO, E1, E2, & E3) racing in the WERC Series battling for position alongside with the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) running two of their own classes (USTCC & USTCC-GT) for the first two hours of the three hour long race.
The race went smoothly through the sunset and into the darkness. After two hours the green/checkered flags came out signaling the end of the race for the USTCC cars. The last hour of the race left the track open for the WERC teams to battle it out. Near the end of the race a BMW rolled in the carousel causing a full course yellow. The driver exited unharmed while crews quickly cleaned up the track for a restart with just a few minutes to go before the end of the race at 7:00 p.m. After the caution, during the restart, a few cars got together near the pit entrance at Turn 11, causing Bryan MacMillian’s E0 Ford Mustang to fly up onto two wheels. Miraculously the Mustang landed back on four wheels and finished the race. A lap later the checkered flag flew and Tom Haacker in his Zoro Tools sponsored number 81 TruSpeed Porsche GT3 took the overall win with 93 laps completed. Tom also earned the ES class win.
The largest class of the field was the E3 class with ten entrants which was won by Mark Drennan in his number 10 Hooverspeed Mazda Miata. In second place was Gordon Jennings in another Miata. The final podium spot broke up the E3 Miatafest with Team SISU Motorsports earning the spot in their blue and green Spec E30 BMW.
The second largest class of the field was E2 which had an eclectic mix of cars, from M3 BMWs, to heavily modified Mazda Miatas and a vintage Nissan Sentra. When the checkered flag flew it was the red, white and blue #38 Krider Racing Nissan Sentra SE-R driven by Rob Krider who finished first. This is the same car which is featured in the documentary film Double Down chronicling the team as they earned a podium finish in the 2012 running of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Second place, five laps down, was Dean Mansour in his M3 BMW and third place was Matt Eagan.
Paul Blickman ran unopposed in the E1 class in his white BMW earning himself a victory. Ethan Stone ran unopposed in the ESR class, taking the ESR win. The E0 class which normally boasts a large field of BMWs had a very small turnout with only three cars. Tony Colicchio was able to earn an E0 victory.