Mercer Porsche Wins USAF NASA Thunderhill 25 Hours

Mercer gets the hat-trick

WILLOWS, Calif. – The United States Air Force (USAF) National Auto Sport Association (NASA) 25 Hours of Thunderhill was won today by the No. 75 Mercer Motorsports Michelin Porsche at Thunderhill Raceway Park.

Mercer’s win gives the team from Los Altos, Calif. their third USAF NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill win in a row, getting the hat-trick. Drivers Johannes van Overbeek, Jon Fogarty, Tommy Sadler, Rich Walton and Wolf Henzler had only one small incident in the 25 hours of running. That was when they had contact with the E1 Class Scion at 4 p.m. on Saturday, resulting in a broken right rear wheel. The Mercer Porsche covered 691 laps, 2,073-miles at an average speed of 101 mph, and, amazingly posted the fastest lap of the race on circuit 641 with a time 1:45.036 on their way to a 41 lap win.

“Three in a row for Scott Mercer and the team is great,” Jon Fogarty, driver said. “He puts together a great team for this event every year. All of our stints were good, and we had great weather. Most of the drivers out there were very heads-up, using their mirrors, which meant no drama for us. We really had a clean run, except for that slight brush with the Scion early on.”

“It is a wonderful day for us,” Scott Mercer, team owner said. “We have great drivers, great crew, and great teamwork all the way around. It was a fun day. We had one incident on the track. We were so fortunate. We had that little accident at 4 p.m., but we fixed it and just kept on charging. The drivers did a great job, not putting a wheel wrong for 25 hours. The Porsche ran strong and fast for the full run. A great win!”

Second place in the ES Class was the No. 29 Porsche of G22 Racing/Truspeed, with the No. 161 BMW M3 of Team Stammer Inc./Bavarian Performance finishing third.

In E3 the No. 23 Miata of RJ Racing took the win in the biggest class of the race, with 22 cars. Second in E3 was the No. 96 Mazda Miata of Team Hooverspeed 2; third was the No. 3 Mazda Miata of

“It was interesting. The race seemed to thin out in the night time,” John Gibson of RJ Racing said. “The track was rough this year. There were a lot of cars in the class. Rob, my brother and partner, made great strategy calls all day. We were changing tires just at the right time. The car ran strong and we really had the brakes working great.”

In the E0 Class, the No. 100 car of Team Atlanta Motorsports took the win. In second was the No. 9 Miata of Team Edge Motorsports; third was the No. 30 Bimmerworld BMW.

“I want to thank team A & G in putting together a great car,” Elivan Goulart of Team Atlanta said. “I want to also thank Mazda for a great car. Mike Cooper and Jesse Combs, my teammates, did a great job behind the wheel for 25 hours. We had a few issues and the crew was able to sort it out, and we came up on top. At the beginning we lost the transmission. This incredible crew changed it in 25-minutes.”

The No. 38 CJ Wilson Mazda MX-5 won the E1 Class for the second year in a row. In second was the No. 34 Robert Davis Racing Mazda RX-8; third was the No. 72 Scion Racing Scion.

“We started on pole and led a lot of laps,” Tyler McQuarrie of CJ Wilson Racing said. “The biggest thing in this race is not to make mistakes, and we had some. But the CJ Wilson team didn’t give up. At the start of the night we were sixth in class, 30 laps down. We pushed. I think I did three doubles and one triple-stint. I think I was in the car for 11-hours. This is my fourth win in the E1 Class.”

The No. 99 949 Racing Mazda Miata took the win in the E2 Class. Second in E2 was the No. 102 of Team Atlanta; third was the No. 051 Team Super Miata.

“It was great stints by all of our drivers,” Dean Thomas of 949 Racing said. “If it wasn’t for mechanicals we could have won by like 14-laps. We tore the front corner off of the car, but the team never gave up and just kept working. We lost a brake caliper into Turn 14, and that was a 45-minute fix for that stop. To have us win this race makes me so proud. The competitors were really respectful, really good racing out there this weekend.”

In ESR the No. 48 Factory 48 Motorsports Radical took the win.

“We ran as high as third overall in the race at one point,” Jeff Shafer said. “We had to change an engine around 8 p.m. and then came back in a few hours to change the clutch. A tough weekend on the parts trailer, but we won.”

25 Hours of Thunderhill Side Stories:

Record braking event (North America): the most cars to start a 24/25 event (83); Thunderhill Raceway Park is the longest track of all the 24/25 races at three-miles; the USAF NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill is the longest race at 25 hours; NASA race records include just five penalties served for body contact; the No. 75 Mercer Porsche completed more laps than any other 25 hour, which included a red flag period – the most laps under green.

A team of high school students from Porterville High School, located south of Fresno, Calif. made it to 9 p.m. last night with their No. 7 BMW. The team is an all student effort that prepared the car, after school, with the payoff being to compete at the USAF NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill race this weekend. The team wore blaze orange hoodies with the words “Kids at the Track Don’t Do Crack.”

The No. 80 Team Edge BMW crew began a motor change in their BMW at 8 a.m. this morning in an all-out effort to finish on the podium third in E0 Class.

Four of the five classes that took the checker were won by a Mazda Miata or MX-5. Ten of the possible 18 podium positions were held by Mazda Miata or MX-5 competitors.

The No. 05 Mazda MX-5 of RDR ran over 19 hours of the race with no windshield or back glass.

No. 72 Scion Racing began an engine change at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and made it back out just in time to take third place in E1.

In both the E0 and E1 classes, two laps separated the first and second positions.

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