NASA: TC Motorsports Thunderhill 25 summary

TC MOTORSPORTS TAKES SECOND AT NASA 25 HOURS OF THUNDERHILL [IMAGE]Federal Way, WA--TC Motorsports finished second in the 2005 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by the U.S. Air Force held December 3 and 4. After 25 hours of racing, TC ...

TC MOTORSPORTS TAKES SECOND AT NASA 25 HOURS OF THUNDERHILL

[IMAGE]Federal Way, WA--TC Motorsports finished second in the 2005 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by the U.S. Air Force held December 3 and 4. After 25 hours of racing, TC Motorsports finished only three laps from the class winner, and finished seventh overall of 58 entries. TC Motorsports completed 641 laps and covered 1,923 miles, nearly 30 laps (90 miles) more than their third place finishing effort in the 2004 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

The #23 tcmotorsports.net/Group 2 Motorsports/Applied Racing Technology/eprodius.com/Pinnacle Mazda E2 Mazda Miata battled back and forth for the lead for much of the 25 hour race with the eventual E2 class winning #11 PDQ Motorsports Honda Civic. TC Motorsports gave up the lead at lap 244 with an unscheduled stop due to a noise violation from being 1 decibel over the posted 98 decibel limit. "We had no choice; the NASA race officials said we had to make modifications so our car would be quieter, or go home," explains TC Motorsports Team Principal Carlo Sparacio. At that stop, the team brought the #23 car behind the wall and into the garage to weld an additional pipe section to the exhaust system to quiet it down, and then toped off the fuel tank. This work was completed in six minutes.

The team could just keep pace with the Honda, but the extra stop for the exhaust modification, which in turn forced the team to refuel outside of their scheduled pit window, forced yet another unscheduled stop for fuel later on Sunday morning. This alone would be enough to cost them the victory.

TC Motorsports was, however, the top finishing Mazda team at the event, even surpassing the multi-car Mazdaspeed factory effort.

The twice around the clock plus an hour at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California, is a grueling event. With 14 hours of darkness and bitter cold temperatures overnight, it can definitely live up to the title of one of the most severe endurance races on the planet.

For this year's event, TC Motorsports had the help of many supporters. Group 2 Motorsports in Seattle, Washington, once again provided their Miata endurance racing Cibie lighting package and several of our key crew personnel, as well as precise set-up equipment. Neil Bryant with Pinnacle Mazda in Renton, Washington, was on hand to provide technical support and was an excellent source for parts. Drive train and suspension development continued with help from Applied Racing Technology in Austin, Texas. eprodius.com helped set-up the TC Motorsports event blog. Unfortunately, a poor Internet connection in the hot pit meant the team would not be able to update it as promised. Victory Lane Data provided the team with excellent data acquisition equipment and support.

[IMAGE]Crew Chief Jon Ament along with Jon Zweiger, Chris Benny, and Steve Shriver worked as primary crew for the 25-hour effort and once again showed their expertise by managing and formulating strategies on the fly, as well as their dedication by not sleeping for the entire race. Drivers Carlo Sparacio, Taryn Sparacio, Will Schrader, and Andrew Caddell all showed how professional race driving is done with flawless, precise, and fast driving at all times of the day and night. "When you look at the timing and scoring screen and see your teammates turning lap times faster than the competition at 4:00 am, you know you are working with greatness," remarks Carlo.

He continues, "Also, the team could not have survived without the hot meatball soup and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup in the middle of the night, along with all of the other food and drinks that were always available. We definitely have to thank Mo Shriver and Bessie Ament in our Hospitality Department for taking such good care of the team."

"We built our car to finish and win the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. To prepare a car to race what equals a couple seasons of sprint races, all without stopping for any maintenance or repairs, shows that a team knows what they are doing. This year we came up just shy of the win to a great competitor. Congratulations to PDQ Motorsports as well as the third place finisher, the #44 California's Best RX-7."

To find out more about TC Motorsports' drivers and crew, and their sponsors, please visit the team's website online at www.tcmotorsports.net. For official results and information about the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, visit www.nasa25hour.com.

-tcm-

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Series Road racing