25h Thunderhill 2014 - Preview

Motorsport-Solutions/Ehret Whinery Porsche 2012 at Thunderhill Raceway (picture by Bob Chapman)
Motorsport-Solutions/Ehret Whinery Porsche 2012 at Thunderhill Raceway (picture by Bob Chapman)

This weekend will mark the last racing event of the year for Pierre Ehret. Starting at this years 12th running of the Californian endurance event "NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance" - a race Ehret and his teammates won overall 2 years ago - the 58 year old German will start abord of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the ES-class of the N.A.S.A-Event to go for another overall victory. The german pilot and californian resident will share a seat in the Award Motorsport / Ehret Winery Porsche with his Co-Pilots Anthony Ward, Tom Haacker, Spencer Trenery and Tommy Sadler.

Pierre Ehret is a well experienced endurance racer with a vast experience in events like the 24h of Le Mans, 24h of Daytona, 24h of Nürburgring and the 24h of Spa. The german who owns several hotels like the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa in Santa Rosa and the Louisas Palace in Berlin and sponsors the event via his family run Ehret Winery buisness, has archived several successes in his motorsport career, including a class win in the Daytona 24h 2005, several podiums in GT-classes in Le Mans and the overall-win in the Thunderhill 25h 2012. He will be joined again in this years event by Anthony Ward, who is the co-owner of the Porsche and Tommy Sadler who has motorsport experience as chief-engineer and manager of the well known Flying Lizzard Team. Spencer Trenery joins the experienced trio as an also well known endurance racer with experience on tracks like the famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Spencer owns together with his father the well established company "Fantasy Junction" which deals with valuable classic cars and is a passionate racer. Completing the lineup is Tom Haacker, a northamerican endurance racer with a lot of Grand-Am races under his belt.

Pierre Ehret is after 2 participations realistic in his prospects for the event: "Just from the datasheets the Porsche should be a favourite in the GT-ranks, but 25h are a long way to go! 2012 we were victorios but last year a technical issue prevented us from finishing. Additionally we will face strong opposition from the Prototype-Teams with several Normas, Wolf and Radicals going for a strong overall-result. A good preperation and driver-disciplin throughout the 25h will be the key-factors for a good result. And I look forward in Memo Gidleys support who will join us at the event as driver-support."

Former Grand-Am ace Memo Gidley, who was part of the winning crew at Thunderhill 2012 will support the Porsche crew as consultant during the race. The well experienced Champcar- Indycar- and Sportscarracer experienced a serious accident at this years 24h of Daytona, and has been absent since then from racing for a long rehabilitation phase.

This years 25h of the Thunderhill is the 12th edition of the event organised by the Northamerican Auto Sport Association (N.A.S.A.). 58 teams have entered this years race. In the prototypeclass 8 teams (2 Wolf GB08 , 3 Radical SR3, 3 Norma M20 F, 1 Eagle DR) will go for the overall win, challenged by a range of rather stock GT-Cars. Half of the grid consists of Mazda Mietas or BMW-Teams. The event is being run on the classical 3-Mile/4,8km variant of the track, although a recent track-extension has resulted in an overall lenght of 4,8 miles/7,7km, making Thunderhill Raceway Park the longest racetrack in the US.