Ford Mustang drivers Thunderhill 25H preview

Ponies Running Wild as Mustang Challenge Racers Make Assault on Thunderhill Boris Said, Eric Curran among drivers slated to participate in FR500S machines in 25 Hour Tooele, UT (1 December 2008) -- The 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the...

Ponies Running Wild as Mustang Challenge Racers Make Assault on Thunderhill
Boris Said, Eric Curran among drivers slated to participate in FR500S machines in 25 Hour

Tooele, UT (1 December 2008) -- The 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup season will open with a double header at Homestead Miami Speedway next March, but for some Mustang Challenge racers, the 2009 season will get an early start with some endurance racing action this weekend.

Several Mustang Challenge teams, drivers, and Ford Mustang FR500S machines are prepared to take on the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) 25 Hours of Thunderhill, presented by the U.S. Air Force. Staged in Willows, California at Thunderhill Raceway, the ultra-endurance event will start on Saturday, December 6, before taking the checkered flag some 25 hours later.

The 2008 edition of the grueling 25 Hour marks a return to the race for the Ford Mustang, as two prototype versions of the FR500S took first and second in class last year. The Ford Mustang FR500S is the first rung in the Ford Mustang competition ladder, and serves as the platform for the Mustang Challenge. The FR500S has also impressed in a variety of categories outside of Mustang Challenge competition in both sprint and endurance racing formats.

While the 2007 Thunderhill outing was originally intended to serve as a data-gathering mission for the FR500S prototypes, the flawless performance saw the Mustangs take the 1-2 class result as well as fifth overall. The Thunderhill 25 rules package allows for a wide scope of racers, with everything from MX-5's to Daytona Prototypes slated for entry.

This weekend's race will see a strong Mustang Challenge presence, thanks in part to the support of Mustang Challenge partners Ford Racing, BFGoodrich Tires, and Miller Motorsports Park. The three series sponsors have each stepped up to cover entry fees, provide one set of g-Force R1 racing tires, and on-site hospitality, respectively, for Mustang Challenge teams.

In addition, in an event that is an ultimate test of machine, the racers won't have far to go if they encounter any problems, as the teams will also enjoy the full support of the Mustang Challenge parts trailer, which will be on-site for the race and staffed by the same familiar faces that were in the Mustang Challenge paddock all season long.

Three teams have entered the FR500S for the race, and each have their own reasons for optimism ahead of the race weekend.

The "Media Car" that shone under the primetime spotlight as it was auctioned at the inaugural Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas in October will return to the track as Mike Davis will take his new Mustang right where it belongs--on the track, sharing the driving duties with Boris Said, Brandon Davis, and Eric Curran. Said has his own enviable record of success behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang, with both Brandon and Mike Davis also sporting a long history with the Mustang. Curran, who closed the KONI Challenge season out on the podium at VIR, will look to add to his impressive racing resume with a strong run this weekend.

TC Motorsport, which won the very first Mustang Challenge race ever held, will also campaign a FR500S in the Thunderhill event, entering the ES Class with a roster full of drivers with previous experience in the race. Team principal Carlo Sparacio will join Rick Edwards, Ted Anthony, Jr., Steve Miller, and Jeff Van Lierop in the driving duties. Sparacio and Edwards finished in the top ten in the 2008 Mustang Challenge standings, as Anthony added his name to the list of winners with a strong run in the final race of the 2008 Mustang Challenge season.

RP Motorsports will enter a StableOne Racing FR500S, with Andrew Hendricks, Pratt Cole, Nicolas Woodman, and Jamie Slone slated for the driving duties in the machine. Hendricks, Cole, and Slone were all featured in Mustang Challenge competition through the 2008 season, and will look to bring both speed and experience to bear in this weekend's Thunderhill event.

In addition to the three FR500S machines entered, Miller Motorsports Park will also be represented with the Larry Miller Racing entry of Mitch Wright, Dan McKeever, Cindi Lux, and James Burke. The familiar foursome will utilize the same Ford Mustang specification that participants in the Miller Performance Training Center employ. The team should be another strong contender, having been key players in last year's 1-2 finish in the race.

"We're really excited to have three FR500S Mustangs entered for this kind of race because it is a great showcase for what the car is capable of," said Mustang Challenge Series Director Lynda Randall. "We're also thrilled that our drivers are taking up the generous support offered for this race from Ford Racing, BFGoodrich Tires, and Miller Motorsports Park. It's been a while since the Miller race, so everyone is also looking forward to this weekend to catch up with everyone else and see some friendly faces at the racetrack once again before going racing."

The 2008 Mustang Challenge season will be featured in the reality show "WHY WE RACE- THE MUSTANG CHALLENGE." The show will follow every twist and turn through the season and will be aired on Discovery's HD Theater for three consecutive Sunday's starting December 7 at 8 PM Eastern.

Mustang Challenge-related teams and drivers to follow this weekend:

Ted Anthony, Jr.
Andrew Caddell
Pratt Cole
Mike Harvison
Andrew Hendricks
Rick Edwards
Steve Miller
Jamie Slone
Carlo Sparacio

TC Motorsports
RP Motorsport
ACS Express Racing


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Series Road racing
Drivers Boris Said , Eric Curran , Pratt Cole , Brandon Davis , Mike Davis , James Burke , Dan McKeever , Jamie Slone , Cindi Lux , Steve Miller , Andrew Caddell , Rick Edwards , Andrew Hendricks