Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image

Here’s some of the interesting cars, drivers running Thunderhill

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NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill is a wonderful hodgepodge of drivers, cars and teams for a year-end gathering of a seemingly no rules – or limited rules – endurance race in Willows, Calif.

I say this as someone who’s talked to drivers who have competed in the Thunderhill, yet not gone myself. It’s something I’d like to do at some point.

With the entry list out, here’s a number of the interesting cars, drivers and lineups running in this year’s race. The full team, car and class and driver entry lists are linked in this sentence.

  • TOYO Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports, No. 45 Audi R8 LMS, Darren Law, Johannes van Overbeek, Dion von Moltke, Mike Hedlund
  • TOYO Tires/Flying Lizard Motorsports 2, No. 74 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Tommy Sadler, Andy Wilzoch, Charlie Hayes, Will Owen
  • JFC Racing, No. 52 Wolf GB08MJ-K20, Ryan Eversley, Al Unser Jr., Miles Jackson, Todd Harris
  • CLP Motorsports, No. 14 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4, Marc Miller, Tyler McQuarrie, Tom Dyer, Tanner Foust, Pat O’Keefe
  • ONE Motorsports/Desert West, No. 67 Radical SR3, Sean Rayhall, John Falb, Todd Slusher, Jesse Menczer
  • ONE Motorsports/Crowd Strike, No. 44 Radical SR3, George Kurtz, Jeff Shafer, Dave House, Paul LaHaye, Kenton Koch
  • Patent It!, No. 19 Panoz GTS, Davy Jones, Paul Edwards, Chuck Hemmingson, Anthony Lisa, Steven Lisa
  • Ryno Racing Team 1, No. 5 Ginetta G57, Colin Braun, Ryan Carpenter, Parker Chase, Colton Herta, Bryan Herta
  • Roadshagger Racing 2016, No. 61 BMW M3, Gavin Ernstone, Jon Morley, Thomas Merrill
  • THRW Honda Racing 2, No. 20 Honda Civic, Chad Gilsinger, Brian Shanfield, Matthew Staal, Douglas Chan, Michael Tsay
  • 2016 – HPD Honda Racing 2, No. 93 Honda Civic, James Nazarian, Jeff Barrow, Tom O’Gorman, Shea Holbrook
  • El Diablo Motorsports, No. 30 BMW 325, James Clay, Lance Boicelli, Cameron Evans, Dale Sievwright, James Colborn, Charles Postins
  • El Dorado Motorsports 2016, No. 22 Honda Prelude, Mike Lock, Carl Young, Tom Lepper, Nathan Pope
  • Fantasy Junction with Winding Road Racing, No. 15 Riley Daytona Prototype, Spencer Trenery, Robert Gewirtz, Darrell Anderson, Mark Drennan
  • Strom Motorsports 2, No. 68 BMW 330Ci, Dan Clarke, Vic Pizzino, Mark Mitchell, Harold Petit
  • 2016 Trim-Tex, No. 9 Mazda MX-5, Joe Koenig, Josh Bilicki, Keil Zornow, Cameron Cassels
  • MAZDA USA #55, No. 55 Global MX-5 Cup, Taz Harvey, Richard Fisher, Scott Clark, CJ Wilson
  • MAZDA USA #70, No. 70 Global MX-5 Cup, Spencer Brockman, Mark Abouzeid, Liam Dwyer, Stevan McAleer
  • RDR, No. 34 Mazda RX-8, Robert Davis, Joel Miller, Dennis Holloway, Jeremy Barnes

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”