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Dec 07, 2013 - 06:12 PM
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Field Set for USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill JFC on Pole
Posted by: newsla on Dec 07, 2013 - 06:08 PM
Tidbits
Field Set for USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill JFC on Pole


The field is set for the 2013 United States Air Force (USAF) 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The No. 52 JFC Racing Wolf driven by Remo Bellarosa will pace the 63 car field to the green flag tomorrow at 11 a.m. PST.

 

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Under cold conditions, 30-degrees at qualifying time, the 63 car field took to the 3.58-mile, 17-turn Thunderhill Raceway in darkness. Bellarosa put in an early time of 1:37.662 good for the overall pole position for the tenth anniversary of the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Bellarosa is teamed with Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and his son Al Unser III.

"I did really one flying lap, there is a lot of traffic out there tonight," Bellarosa said. "Miles Jackson and his JFC Racing team have put together a very fast car. I am very happy to drive for Miles with Al Unser Jr. and his son. The car is handling really well. It is really easy to drive fast here, which is what you need with all of the traffic. In practice we did closer to a 1:32, but that time was not possible with all of the cars on the track in qualifying."

In the ultra-competitive ES Class, the Davidson Racing Eagle driven by Burt Frisselle was the fastest with a time of 1:42.598.

"I haven't had a chance to drive the car for the first time since all of the changes the team made since last year,"Frisselle said. "The car feels a lot lighter, more responsive, the braking is better. It is just a different car. I am hoping for no rain, the car is really warm inside. The colder the better for us. We have a couple of tire compounds that are available to us and not the other teams, so we may have an advantage. There is time left in the car. We had to trouble shoot a lot of problems today. We wanted to qualify in the top five on the grid and be ready to race tomorrow."

The E0 Class saw the No. 67 Pure Performance BMW E46 driven by Brett Strom run a fast time of 1:56.755.

"There were a lot of cars out there in qualifying," Strom said. "It started to snow or mist a little, so it was getting slippery out on the track. It was my fast time of the weekend. It is my first time in this car and it was our fast lap of the weekend. I think there is a little more time in the car, but we are working on a little understeer issue."

Spencer Trenery put the No. 5 Fantasy Junction Acura RSX on pole in the E1 Class with a time of 2:00.749.

"We have done this race for several years and the key to qualifying is to get out there early in the session," Trenery said. "We wanted to take the green, cut our lap and get back in the pits. There is a mixed bag out there. There are people learning the track and running at night for the first time, so we wanted to get out, get a lap and get back in as soon possible to protect the car. We put in a time in the first couple of laps. It also started to mist, so the track only got wetter as the session went on into the night."

Dennis Holloway put the No. 34 RDR Mazda RX-8 on the front row of the E2 Class running a time of 2:05.215.

"I had a couple of consistent laps in the low 2:05's," Holloway said. "There was a little more in the car. It was cold and starting to rain, so I thought it might get a little slippery. You really need to watch the mirrors at night as the closing rates are amazing. Go RDR!"

In E3 the No. 05 949 Racing Mazda Miata driven by Sonny Watanasirisuk put in a time of 2:06.150.

"We went out right at the beginning of the session to get the lap in quick," Watanasirisuk said. "The car is handling beautiful. I had no real moments on the track that made me anxious. Snow, rain it don't really matter to me, I will just drive through it. I want to thank 949 Racing, Track Speed Engineering and Stop Tech Brakes for their support."

Live timing of the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill can be viewed at http://www.nasa25hour.com/live-timing-feed.html.

Endurance Radio will once again provide coverage of the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill at endurance-radio.com. They will be on the air for the official one hour practice and qualifying session on Fri., Dec. 6 starting at 4:45 p.m. PST (7:45 p.m. EST). That broadcast will be available on-demand throughout the night on endurance-radio.com. Race day coverage starts on Sat, Dec. 7 at 9:15 a.m. PST (12:15 p.m. EST) with a re-broadcast of the qualifying session, rolling right into the race preview an hour later. Cars will roll off the grid at 11:00 a.m. PST (2:00 p.m. EST), and Endurance Radio will stay live right through to the checkered flag at 12:00 p.m. PST on Sun., Dec. 8.

Viewers can also follow the coverage from inside the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesels at www.MazdaUSA.com\ThunderHillLIVE.

Thunderhill is drawing an impressive professional driver line-up. Those expected to compete are: Kelly Collins, Al Unser Jr., Al Unser III, Davy Jones, Memo Gidley, Andrew Davis, Michael Valliante, Ken Dobson, Pierre Ehret, Burt and Brian Frisselle, Naoki Hattori, Matt Jaskol, Anthony Lazzaro, Michael Skeen, Craig Stanton, James Sofronas, Alex Welch, Mark Wilkins, Randy Pobst, Jim Briody, Michael Lewis, Daijiro Yoshihara as well as some of the top amateur drivers in the country.

* Great mix of cars including Audi R8 LMS, Audi TT RS, Norma Sports Racer, Seat Leon, Lexus IS300, Mazda 6 Diesel, Miata MX-5 and RX-8, Acura ILX, Honda Civic, Honda CR-Z, Factory Five Racing, Chevrolet Silverado, Porsche 997, etc.
* Six classes of race cars E0, E1, E2, E3, ES, ESR
* 60+ entries in E0 7, E1 10, E2 7, E3 11, ES 17, ESR 9; 16 Mazda entries, 12 BMW, 4 Porsche, 4 Honda, 4 Acura

The live race web broadcast can be heard on the Internet at endurance-radio.com.
The USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill will see a field of 63 cars racing in six classes (ES, ESR, E0, E1, E2, E3) going twice around the clock plus an hour over the 2.86-mile, 15-turn track located 90-minutes north of Sacramento. To view the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill media guide go to www.nasa25hour.com.


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