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Racers compete in endurance event at Thunderhill
A Porsche 997 Cup car driven by Piere Ehret, Tyler McQuarrie, Anthony Ward, Christian Bollrath and Memo Gidley took top honors at the 10th annual National Auto Sport Association's United States Air Force 25 Hours of Thunderhill that wrapped up Sunday in Willows.
The winning No. 00 Motorsports Solutions/Ehret Family Vineyards Porsche 997 Cup ES scored a convincing 16-lap win over the runner-up No. 18 Davidson Racing RCR/Eagle ES on the 2.866-mile Thunderhill Raceway Park layout.
A total of 70 cars started the 25-hour race, while 47 took the checkered flag, and the winning car covered 1,953 miles.
"It was my second 25-hour race, my first time I came in second," Anthony Ward said. "We finished one better today. I found it very difficult to drive. There is a lot of traffic out on the track. You never get more than two or three turns in row that are clear. We had a few mechanical issues. In the last 15 minutes of the race we had a rear axle go. The crew made quick work of that repair. Earlier, we hit someone and knocked out a radiator, had a misfire issue with the engine and flat spotted some tires. This is a monumental effort to run a 25-hour race. Sometimes you are down 30 laps and not out of it. You just can never give up."
As the laps, and clock, were winding down, the two Motorsports Solutions Porsches were locked in a battle for the overall win. The ES Class No. 00 and No. 64 Porsche 997s battled over the last four hours for the overall win. At 7:30 a.m. the No. 64, leading at the time, pitted for a motor mount fix. The time in the pits relegated the 64 to third place, putting the team car, No. 00, into the lead. With three hours remaining, the No. 64 Porsche was in chase mode, trying to make-up a six lap deficit.
With just 90 minutes remaining, the curtain closed on the No. 64's chances when an electrical problem sidelined the 997 leaving the 00 at the head of the field alone, 16 laps ahead of its closest pursuer.