Flying Lizard Motorsports has dominated the 13th running of the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Hawk Performance.
When the checkered flag dropped on the twice-around-the clock plus one hour race at Thunderhill Raceway the Toyo-shod Audi R8 LMS ultra had won by 35 laps.
The dominant Flying Lizard team took the overall lead seven hours in to the race Saturday evening and never looked back.
When the defending race champions from Davidson Racing had issues with their Norma, the Lizards took over the lead and were never challenged for the remaining 18 hours.
Soldering through on and off mist and rain through the night and a more serious weather front in the morning, the Audi R8 LMS with its traction control, ABS brakes and choice of two different Toyo tire rain compounds won by 35 laps over the second place car of Quick Racing and their No. 3 SuperLIte SLC.
The winning entry was driven by Darren Law, Johannes van Overbeek, Guy Cosmo and Tomonobu Fujii.
“Excellent run by the team,” Law said. “The team is so good with this car and these long races. The Toyo tires were just phenomenal. We went from dry tires to wets, to intermediates and they performed great across the spectrum.
“We did what we set out to accomplish, winning in dominating fashion. Almost half of the race was run in the rain. The Toyo rain tire had us just hooked up. Their rain tire has a lot of grip which made it really fun to drive in those conditions.”
In ESR the No. 69 Gryphon Racing Praga took the victory with the all carbon Renault engine powered car driven by Joseph Barone, Danny van Dongen, Paul Blickman and Ari Straus.
“The last 20 minutes of the race was our biggest drama, we lost a few seconds to position number four,” Dusan Maly, team manager said. “Endurance racing is a full team effort with the crew and the drivers all performing. Whenever I see the rain it makes me happy. The Gryphon Praga is very good in the rain.”
In E0 the No. 30 El Diablo BMW took the victory with drivers James Clay, Lance Boicelli, Cameron Evans, Dale Sievwrig, James Colborn, Charles Postins.
“Last Sunday the El Diablo guys were ready to throw in the towel on this effort,” Evans said. “With the help of the team and everyone they got a car together that hadn’t run in over 10 years to come out to the 25 hours and win.
“All of our guys at Red Line Oil and the rest of our sponsors, crew and volunteers did a great job. We knew we could have brought more power, but that wasn’t the equation to win. We brought the right amount of car combined with fuel mileage and six drivers who knew what they were doing to win.”
In the E1 Class it was the No. 0 BMW of Grip Racing that took the win with drivers Mark Drennan, Brian Ghidinelli, Mason Filippi, Addison Lee and Rylan Hazelton.
“I had my friends in the 0 car and it was fun to watch them win,” Jason Vein, team owner said. “We had some contact with the winning Flying Lizard car in the by-pass that resulted in breaking a couple of wheels and a tie rod.
“We made it back in and the crew did a great job to fix the car and get it back in the race. We had to serve a penalty for changing two wheels, but we were able to overcome that as well and get the win.”
In the E2 Class the RDR No. 34 Mazda RX-8 won the class with drivers Joel Miller, Lee Pappageorge, Dennis Holloway and Jeremy Barnes.
“A repeat for our lovely RX-8 Kermit for the win,” Miller said. “Dennis Holloway put in the last stint and brought it to the checker. To get another victory for this great effort is special.
“Also really cool what the team did with getting the Mazda MX-5s all across the finish line in their first ever on track competition. Great effort all the way around by the RDR team with its all-volunteer crew.”
In E3 the No. 40 Mazda Miata of RAmotorsports40 won the class from the pole position with drivers Darin Polsley, Phillip Holyfield, Jaime Florence and Daniel Cooper.
The No. 6 CLP Motorsports NP01 posted the first win in its competition debut with the NASA developed NP01 Prototype. The driving team consisted of Tyler McQuarie, Jeremy Croiset, Tom Dyer, Marc Miller and Pat O’Keefe.
Top Finishers by Class:
No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi R8, 690 laps *overall winner
No. 3 Quick Racing Products, SuperLite SLC, 655 laps
No. 4 Prototype Development Group Factory Five GTM, 631 laps
No. 69 Gryphon Racing Praga, 626 laps
No. 10 CRE/Jackson Racing Wolf, 554 laps
No. 52 JFC Racing Wolf, 479 laps
No. 30 El Diablo Motorsports BMW, 617 laps
No. 03 Edgle Last Minute Motorworks BMW, 607 laps
No. 61 RoadShagger BMW, 603 laps
No. 0 Grip Racing 0 BMW, 615 laps
No. 95 Grip Racing 95, 607 laps
No. 42 THRW/Honda Racing 1, 601 laps
No. 34 RDR Mazda RX-8, 570 laps
No. 32 Team Gone Racing, Mazda Miata, 535 laps
No. 12 HPD Honda Racing 1, Honda Fit, 157 laps
No. 40 RAmotorsports40, Mazda Miata, 593 laps
No. 7 Augersmiles.com/New Rock Exchange, Acura Integra, 588 laps
No. 23 RJ Racing, Mazda Miata, 581 laps
No. 6 CLP Racing, NP01, 514 laps
No. 99 11/10ths, NP01, 30 laps