Overcoming engine and transmission issues, the team of ex-IndyCar racer Alex Lloyd and sports car veterans Brian Frisselle, Randy Pobst, and Kyle Marcelli pushed the No. 17 Davidson Racing Norma to the overall and ESR class victory in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill yesterday in California.
The winning No. 17 Norma logged 682 laps and 1,910 miles en route to the victory and also set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 28 with a 1 minute, 38.371-second time.
Team owner Bob Davidson was called upon to take the Norma over the finish line. It’s his first Thunderhill win in four years of trying.
“It has been a few years of hard work trying to win this race,” said Davidson. “We felt really good coming into the race this year. We have a great crew and a great line-up of drivers.
“The Norma has been a good car for us for a couple of years. It really came into its own this year and we had lady luck on our side.”
Said Frisselle: “I am so happy for Bob. He really deserves this victory. I don’t know if there is a team owner in this whole paddock that is more passionate about the 25 Hours of Thunderhill than Bob. We have been hard at it for four years trying to win this for him.
“Bob has a lot of hard work into this project. We had some engine trouble at the end so we were a little worried. We were able to put Bob in at the end and let him bring the Norma across the finish line to take the checker, so it was perfect.”
Also taking part in the weekend’s events was former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, who co-drove the No. 61 Road Shagger Racing BMW in the E0 class.
The team held the class lead early on, but a later penalty cost them precious time in the pits. Problems with the car’s differential also plagued the BMW during the event and forced the team off the track with one hour to go. They eventually returned to the track, however, to pick up a fourth-place finish.
The No. 31 Hankook Tires/El Diablo Motorsports BMW (Lance Boicelli, Scott Smith, Dale Sievwright, William Brinkop) took the E0 class victory.
Other class winners include: ES (second place overall) – No. 00 Award Motorsports/Ehret Family Winery Porsche (Pierre Ehret, Kelly Collins, Tom Hacker, Spencer Trennery, Tommy Sadler); E1 – No. 67 BMW of Sparta Evo Brakes/Maxxis Tire/Bullet Performance (Brett Strom, Mickey Miller, Ralph Warren, Robert Green); E2 – No. 34 Team RDR Mazda RX-8 (Dennis Holloway, Joel Miller, Lee Papageorge); E3 – No. 23 RJ Racing Mazda Miata (Gary Brown, John Gibson, Rob Gibson, Roger Eagleton).