National Auto Sport Association
  2004 25 Hours of Thunderhill Recap  


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The second annual United States Air Force 25 Hours of Thunderhill took place on December 4 and 5, 2004. The cars to beat last year were the trio of Porsches fielded by the Flying Lizard and Glenn Yee teams, and this year saw another Stuttgart show of force in the form of the Crazy Redhead/Fordahl Motorsports 993 piloted by Kim Hiskey, Randy Pobst, Albert Loredo, Dave Welch and Greg Fordahl. The main challenge to the Redheads came from the Team TSR-Tool Radical that qualified just behind the Porsche to take the second spot on the grid. The first hours of the race saw an excellent duel between these two very different cars, but the Radical was beset by problems early on including a nose that flew off at speed after an off-course excursion had damaged the mounting hardware. The main surprise of the early hours was the strong showing of Honda-powered sedans near the top of the order. The Team Dublin Honda/NN Racing entry under the guidance of Taz Harvey managed to snag the third spot early on just behind the Porsche and the Radical, defying all logic and setting the pundits to speculating what was under the hood. The Team Honda Research Acura TL steered by a team of Honda North America engineers also drew some attention as they rose to the fifth spot on the ticker just behind the Team CSR sports racer.

As night fell, the temperature dropped in the low 30's as a cold front headed toward the track from the Gulf of Alaska. Local forecasts called for the possibility of rain or sleet, so the racers had to scramble to figure out their wet weather or even ice racing strategies. Fortunately, a rogue high-pressure system moved into the area and kept the night clear, but brutally cold. The field marched through the night with some teams dropping out due to mechanical failures, but with most hanging in through the evening hours.

As morning broke, so did many different parts on many of the entries. With about four hours remaining, the lead car lost a CV joint that allowed the Radical to close within eight laps, but the Redheads then pulled out to a bigger lead when the TSR-Tool team lost their transmission with less than two hours remaining. This lead to all sorts of drama as the Lost n' Spaced Porsche and the Honda Research Acura TL were able to launch into the second and third overall spots and the second place ESR entry from the Tortoise team began to threaten TSR-Tool's first place finish in ESR. With less than an hour to go, the TSR-Tool Radical returned to the track to hold off the Tortoise charge and keep their first place finish in ESR. The Crazy Redhead team led from flag-to-flag with the fastest lap time to claim the overall and ES win with the Lost n' Spaced team just behind in both the overall and ES standings. The Honda Research Acura TL proved that four door luxury racecars are plenty competitive by blowing the doors off the E0 field and taking the final spot on the overall podium. Other notable wins were the E2 victory by Mike Quan's PDQ Motorsports team that triumphed over the gaggle of E2 Spec Miatas in their Honda Challenge Civic, the Arizona Wild Dogs taking home the E3 win in their E30 BMW, and the E1 class champion E-Ticket Motorsports in their E36 BMW.

If you have stories, race reports or pictures, please send them to Jerry so we can post them here.

THIS JUST IN!!

I had a special 2004 25 Hour patch made and I am sending one to each driver (free). I have the drivers’ addresses but not necessarily all their emails. So you can let them know that it’s on the way. This is a very high quality patch and can be either sewn on or ironed on. I made enough for each driver, and still have some left over. Even though they are made for drivers, we will sell the extras to crewmembers for $10 each. I know it sounds expensive, but these are a low-run item and they are not cheap. $10 includes shipping and handling.

Again, all drivers are already being mailed a patch, so no need to order one. If a crewmember wants one, send a check for $10 to

NASA 25 hr Patch
PO Box 21555
Richmond, CA 94820

Make sure you include your return address and your team name. I am in the process of making ones for 2003 (yes, last year) with a different border color (not blue), and will send them to all the 2003 drivers. Each year there will be a new patch made!

Cheers,
Jerry Kunzman

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