Tuesday, June 25, 2013

25hrs Of Thunderhill 2012 Photos

This post is so late....like six months late. But here goes anyway......

In December of 2012 I once again had the good fortune to participate in the 25hrs Of Thunderhill in Willows, CA. This time I was invited to crew for Prototype Development Group and their home built Factory Five GTM-R. The team is owned/managed by Richard and Yvonne Migliori and if there is a kinder, more big hearted, more salt-of-the-earth couple on Earth, I've not yet met them. They both work for the public school system in Stockton California, Richard as a Vocational Studies teacher (his previous career was as a General Contractor) and Yvonne as the Director of Nutrition Services.

The GTM-R was built and is raced in honor of their late friend Dan Lawson who had purchased the car but was killed in a racing accident and was never able to complete it. In the six years the car has been finished it has continued to evolve, improve and become increasingly competitive at the 25hr race. Outside of the 25hr it has been very succsesful in the Western Endurance Racing Series with 58 podium finishes in 66 races.

Below are my favorite photos from the 2012 race and a bit of information here and there. As you'll see, the variety of cars in this race is pretty mind boggling. Everything from factory racers such as the 997 and TT-R, one-off prototypes like the GTM-R and RCR Eagle, purpose built tube-frame cars like the Panoz GT, club level racers such as Miata's and E-30 BMW's, and the occasional vintage car as well.

Pre-Race, the Prototype Development Group GTM-R


2-time Daytona 24hr Winner, Lead Driver and all-round good dude, Elliot Forbes-Robinson
Eventual race winning Motorsports Solutions Porsche 997
The E1 class is getting wild. Witness the class winning 949 Racing Miata and it's collection of home-spun aero tricks.
Davidson Racing RCR Eagle.....crazy fast homebuilt prototype.
034 Racing Audi-TT. This is a FWD single-make racer imported from Germany for this race. It was quick but they had mechanical problems.
Another year, another beautiful Tiger Racing Bimmer
No, really. They raced the Fiat 500. Flipped it in practice, but they finished and kept everyone smiling.
Scion FR-S with most of it's interior intact, a license plate and new-car smell.
Sweet early 70's Datsun 510
This is what this race is all about. A team of high-school shop class mechanics thrashing on a 20yr old E-30 at 2am to keep it in the race.
There was a time when "pit cart" meant a barely running, possibly stolen clapped out golf-cart....no more.

The most anticipated and most dangerous time of the race.

Mt Shasta, 150mi to the North
The GTM-R and it's mastermind, Richard Migliore in the background.

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