The Grueling NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill featured victories for two generations of Miatas
Race teams have once again taken on the challenge of racing twice around the clock plus an hour in the chill of Northern California December. Just finishing the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill is an accomplishment, let alone winning. Two Mazda teams emerged victorious in their classes during the Dec. 2-3, 2017, race in which the overall winner covered 2,200 miles.
One of those was the Trim-Tex Racing Team of Joe Koenig, Josh Bilicki, Britt Casey Jr. and Cameron Cassels, winning the E1 class in their Mazda MX-5 Cup car. The team recovered nicely from last year’s disappointment when a mechanical problem during the grueling torture test of a race weekend left them just short of winning the class.
Just two laps separated Trim-Tex Racing and second-place class finisher Team MooreWood Racing.
Problems also hit Team RAMotorsports40, but the drivers made the most of the situation to get the E3 class win. Despite everything, the trio of drivers – Tao Takaoka, David Biggar and Michael LaBouff – were able to beat second-place finisher CorkSport Performance by 22 laps. “Likely something is going to break on the car before the end of the race,” said Biggar. “It’s just how you manage it and then how you get through the rest of the race with that, and I think we did a great job.”
Corksport was a rookie team in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, although team principal and driver Derrick Ambrose has a lot of experience with the race. He and fellow drivers Jim Jordan, Joey Jordan and T.J. Fischer managed to get through the frenetic race with only a bit of contact during the night to finish second in E3 with the Mazda3.