Honda Racing Thunderhill 25H hour 21 report

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HPD Continues Comeback, Fit Runs Strong at Thunderhill With just under four hours remaining in the 2010 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the ...

HPD Continues Comeback, Fit Runs Strong at Thunderhill

With just under four hours remaining in the 2010 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the #19 Honda Performance Development (HPD) Honda CR-Z has climbed to second in the Endurance 3 class standings, and continues to gain ground on the class-leading #2 Mazda Miata of Miatacage.net Racing.

Refueling problems with the #19 Honda cost it a pair of five-minute "stop- and-hold" penalties early in the race; and an additional repairs need to meet track sound limits cost the team additional time as night - and steady rain - fell on the northern California road course, dropping 10 laps off the lead. But the CR-Z has recovered much of the ground lost and was just four laps behind as dawn broke just before 7 am.

In the last hour, driver Lawson Aschenbach has reported a problem with fourth gear, but continues to post faster laps than the class leader, bypassing the gear and shifting from third directly into fifth.

Meanwhile, the Honda Team Research-West Honda Fit, currently driven by HCM's Scott Nicol, runs fifth in class and has consistently been the best- placed of three E3 cars built to new "B-Spec" rules. The other B-Spec entries, a pair of Mazda2s are currently running well behind, behind the THR Fit.

The early-race leading #93 CR-Z sustained substantial body and suspension damage in an Hour 4 crash. The Honda returned to action in 21st position after three hours of repairs by the HPD and moved up to 16th in the night hours, but was retired just before 8 a.m. this morning with transmission failure.

Highlights from the 2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill will be televised as a one- hour Versus Network special, airing at 6 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 23.

Michael Kinstle (HPD CR-Z Race Team Large Project Leader): "It's been a long night, but the HPD team has certainly risen to the occasion. We lost the #93 car to transmission failure a little while ago, and the #19 car has an issue with fourth gear. But Lawson [Aschenbach] is still turning quicker lap times than the Mazda and there's four hours of racing still remaining. I think it's going to be a close finish."

-source: honda racing

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