For many Minnesotans’ December marks the beginning of a long, cold winter. For auto enthusiasts December marks the beginning many months counting down the days until the roads are clear and we can bring our cars back out to play. As an enthusiast and amateur racer I generally fall into this group, however not so much this December. You see, this weekend I get the unique opportunity to race in America’s longest endurance sportscar race, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
To the unfamiliar the 25 Hours of Thunderhill is an endurance race held at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California. This famous endurance race gives amateur and professional drivers alike one more chance for glory before the end of the year. Don’t let the location fool you though. While daytime temperatures can inch towards 60, nighttime temperatures dance in the 30’s. This year professional drivers include Nascar champion Kurt Busch, Indy legend Al Unser Jr., endurance series regular Anthony Lazzaro, Audi R8 LMS driver Dion von Moltke, World Challenge champion Randy Pobst, Kyle Marcelli, Davy Jones, and Mike Skeen to name a few. Simultaneously, an equal if not greater amount of amateur level racers will share the track, all in cars ranging from Mazda Miatas to Porsche GT3s to factory built prototype racecars.
I will be running as part of Mazda North America’s four-car effort. For the second consecutive year Mazda is pitting new car dealers versus a team of Mazda factory guys in the 25 hours grudge match. Last year it was the dealers who won the internal Mazda challenge. Both teams will once again compete in Mazda 6 clean-diesel racecars in the E1 Class. In case you missed it, a brief overview of the car can be found in my previous blog post here where I first had a chance to drive one of the Mazda6 clean diesel racecars in Austin, TX.
The event kicks off with practice on Thursday, Qualifying on Friday and the race start on Saturday. I plan on posting regular updates via Morrie’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Our team will also be running a number of live streams, including cameras in the pits and in each of the four Mazda’s we’re campaigning.
Follow the links below to catch live updates.
Morrie’s Facebook Page
Mazda Live Streams
Car #56 Feed www.ustream.tv/mazdalivecar56
Mazda Pit Stream: www.ustream.tv/mazdalivepitcam