RDTCC S10 Champion
- Jan 1, 2015
Just outside the small town of Willows, California in the United States out in the countryside is the racetrack known as Thunderhill. It is a 3 mile or 5 mile track with lots of sweeping turns and elevation changes. The longest endurance road race in the US is held here each year. It is an amateur race but attracts professional teams and drivers as well. This multi-class endurance race has a wide variety in cars and speeds. There are mazda mx5s as well as Norma's, Radicals, and cars like the Porsche GT3 Cup, Lotus Exige, Wolf, BMW M3, Nissan 370Z, Audi R8 LMS, Mazda RX-8, Acura Integra, Acura ILX, Honda Civic, Factory Five Racing, Ginetta LMP3, NPO1 Prototype and more.
I was offered the chance to be a pit crew member by a friend that owns a small team and rents his car out to a group of drivers. While of course I would love to someday participate in some real life wheel to wheel racing it isn't something that looks to be financially viable. However getting the chance to become involved in the whole experience was still very enticing and I volunteered to help out. The class we would be running was the e1 class, the fourth fastest out of the six classes. The class was made up mainly of e46 BMW 330's and the 94 honda prelude we were entering.
(Picture from last year)
My duties were to be quite simple. I would be mostly getting fuel and filling up the fuel cans between the gas station on site and our pit area. With doing some other miscellaneous things as well. I showed up Saturday morning a couple hours before the green flag. Upon arrival I find out that the car had been crashed the day before in practice and lost the front splitter and lower potion of the bumper. As well as twisting or bending the frame. However the car was still able to be driven, but was now about 3 seconds per lap slower than before. Still good enough to run one second off of pole and placed us 5th on grid out of ten in our class.
It is amazing the car didn't roll.
Yet still ready to race the next day.
On the grid about 15 minutes before the green flag.
The car was the fastest in class and our first driver was able to work his way up to first by the end of the first hour. There were some small issues here and there that took us down a few places but still in the hunt for the lead. Unfortunately the second driver about 4.5 hours in crashed the car again and this time the car would be done for the race.
Overall it was a fun experience. I got to sleep instead of being up all night as originally planned. It really was fun to be a part of the event and I would recommend it to others. If you cannot drive a racecar it can still be fun to not only be at an event and watch, but join in and volunteer. Attached are some more images of the event (primarily not ones I took) as well as a documentary from the race last year. I just thought I would share with the folks on here. Enjoy.