The race requires teams to drive throughout the night for 25 hours straight. At the end, the team with the most laps in each class is declared the winner.
Nitto-sponsored team, Bullet Performance, campaigned a BMW E36 M3 in the E0 class, which is the fastest class using street-legal tires. After a grueling race, the team finished first in their class, running Nitto NT01 road-race radials. /running against faster classes using race slicks, changing more tires and carrying more fuel, the team managed to finish second overall.
This is Nitto's fourth consecutive class win at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, and the team's third win.
Team Nitto Tire/Bullet Performance got off to a shaky start, qualifying 17th overall and 6th in class in a field of 70 cars. Despite this, when the flag dropped, the team settled into a good pace, knowing the key to success would be to avoid costly pit stops from broken parts. The pace allowed them to remain competitive while preserving fuel and tires.
When asked about the pace, driver Ralph Warren explained, "We were not the fastest car in our class, but that that was part of our plan. We took great care of the car and spent less time in the pits than our competition. We never came behind the wall for repairs and got tremendous fuel mileage."
The team was well equipped to handle changing weather conditions. Driver Brett Strom explained, "This year the Nitto NT01 tire was well suited for the race. Changing conditions meant other teams had to change tires more often than us. When the rain came, we just stayed out and kept running. This gave us a huge advantage."
These strategies paid off. Despite fierce class competition, Team Nitto Tire/Bullet Performance took the lead at the four-hour mark and held on to the finish line. After 25 hours of racing, 608 laps completed and weather conditions ranging from sunny to wet and muddy, Bullet Performance took first place in the E0 class. When compared to the fastest ES class, the team finished second overall and a mere 20 laps behind the first-place winner, a Rolex GT-series Porsche piloted by professional racers.