It’s very rare in modern racing you hear of “racing for the sake of racing.” But with the 2013 season largely in the books, championships decided, top-10 lists written and all the rest, it’s rare you get as close to a pure event full of “run what you brung” machinery that runs the gamut from jalopies to supercars.
Welcome to the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. It’s weird, it’s wacky, it’s windy, and it’s wonderful.
Nearly 250 drivers from more than 60 teams are entered for the NASA-sanctioned endurance race in Northern California. It’s not as formal as the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, which is still laid back but arguably has way more on the line as one of club racing’s top events. What it is, is an abnormal test of man, machine, cold temperatures and limited lighting with a mash up of cars you wouldn’t think could be possible to all run on one track at the same time.
Supercars like the Audi R8, fielded by Pirelli World Challenge team GMG Racing, Lexus IS and Porsche GT3 Cups are entered. There are newer model cars, like the Mazda6, Acura ILX or Ford Mustang Boss 302S.
Then there are the wacky: There’s, and I’m not making this up, No. 66 Chevy Silverado truck entered by a team called “ColdCock Whiskey Silverado” (similar to the one pictured right). A bunch of old Miatas and RX-7s are there. Radical SR3 prototypes, Panoz GTS sports cars, BMW M3s and Honda Fits. All together.
Among the drivers entered? There’s two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr., racing with son Al III, in a Wolf GB08S prototype. Memo Gidley, Anthony Lazzaro, Naoki Hattori, Frisselle brothers Burt and Brian and drift star Tyler McQuarrie are among the familiar names to race fans you’ll see in action this weekend. Others who have competed in PWC – James Sofronas, Jon Miller and Alex Welch to name a few – will also be on hand.