GREENVILLE, S.C. – Dec. 4, 2009 – BFGoodrich Tires will be supporting 11 vehicles competing in NASA’s (National Autosport Association) 25 Hours of Thunderhill taking place Dec. 4-6, 2009. The teams will put their BFGoodrich g-Force™ R1™ tires to the test during the grueling 25 hour endurance race at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, Calif.
The nine teams that have selected BFGoodrich tires as their tire of choice for the race will benefit from the professional technical engineering and tire fitting support that BFGoodrich brings to each of its sponsored events. The field of 11 vehicles shod with BFGoodrich tires will range from Mazda MX-5s to the BMW M3 and boasts the best in motorsports including seasoned race drivers, media and celebrities alike.
“Never before have we had such a diverse group of drivers take to the track on the BFGoodrich g-Force R1,” said Roberts Kukainis, Motorsports Manager, BFGoodrich Tires. “We are looking forward to the drivers challenging Thunderhill with the extreme capability of the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tire for 25 hours of racing. We wish the best of luck to all of our drivers and look forward to celebrating with them on the podium.”
BFGoodrich Tires 25 Hours of Thunderhill Teams:
• Atlanta Motorsports Group (AMG) will be running one Mazda MX-5 on BFGoodrich tires at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. After winning the 2009 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup championship on BFGoodrich g-Force R1s, AMG decided to run the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with the g-Force R1s in the E1 class. The driver line up will be led by Todd Lamb, winner of the 2009 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup championship, up and coming driver Dennis Bize, past Spec Miata national champion Brad Rampleberg and Tim Buck from Mazda North America.
• BiggsB Racing is fielding a two-car team consisting of the BiggsB Racing/Turn in Concepts ’04 Subaru WRX competing in the fast and competitive ES class and the returning BiggsB Racing Mazda Miata battling it out in the hard-fought E2 class. The team will feature 2007 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion and 2008-2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge repeat Champion Andrew Caddell who is looking forward to running his fifth consecutive 25 Hours of Thunderhill in the fastest car he has ever run at this event.
• GOGOGEAR.COM is entering a Honda Civic DX in the E3 class under the team name Calling Chicken. The Honda Civic DX will be piloted by Gordon Pun, Bill Dockery, Tom Milburn and promising rookies Matt Yeung and Tony Mak. They will also have a second entry which is a right hand drive Acura Integra R running the E1 class as team Acutech Racing. This entry will be driven by Niki Tam, RJ Reeves, US Touring Car Championship Champion Dave Brown and 25 Hour Champion Ali Arsham.
• Mazda “25 in 25” will be going for the win in the E1 class with their Mazda “25 in 25” team featuring 25 drivers that will be behind the wheel for one hour each. This team will be the largest driving team ever assembled for the annual NASA season-ender and will range from Lyn St. James, who has multiple class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona to drag racer turned road racer Ed Bergenholtz who has never raced at night or in an endurance race. It’s a diverse team like no other and their tire of choice to get them there is the BFGoodrich g-Force R1.
• RJR Racing will return to the 25 Hours of Thunderhill for the second time in its NASA Performance Touring class 1995 Mazda Miata in the E2 endurance category. The car will be piloted by John Gibson, Dion Johnson, multi-time 25 Hour winner Lee Niffenegger, and JG Pasterjak from Grassroots Motorsports. They are looking to improve on their second place finish in last year’s race by utilizing the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 in 2009.
• Team MPME Scion is coming back to Thunderhill for the third year in a row. Team MPME Scion will attempt to conquer the race in its Scion tC running in the top ES class. Marshall Pruett, team owner and manager, along with partners GST Motorsports, has put together an incredible team including Indy Lights race winner Mark Hotchkis, ALMS race winner Dave McEntee and KONI and World Challenge standouts Gary Sheehan and Robb Holland.
• Team Opak Racing - Spoon Sports will field a two-car lineup with the Spoon Sports Honda Civic Type R in the E0 class featuring drivers Tatsuru Ichishima, founder of Spoon Sports Japan, Naoki Hattori, a top Japanese driver with Best Motoring, Kazunori Yamauchi, the inventor of the Gran Tourismo series and Sam Mitani, Senior International Editor for Road & Track. Team Opak Racing will also enter the Honda Accord Euro R in the E1 class for the 25 hour race with featured drivers NASA champion Ken Kurtz, three-time NASA US Touring Car Championship Champion Tom Lepper, US Touring Car Championship Champion Jeff Lepper and Formula BMW driver Gaby de la Merced.
• Track Concierge Racing will compete in the E0 class in a BMW M3 featuring drivers Robbie Montinola, Michael Ramies, Charles Ng, Frank Cusack and Tony Zwain. The Track Concierge drivers have years of racing experience on BFGoodrich tires through Skip Barber with three of the drivers having previously been crowned Skip Barber Race series champions.
• WORKS MOTORSPORTS will compete in their powerful 2009 Mitsubishi Rally Art in the E0 class marking the first Rally Art of its kind running this long of an endurance race. The Rally Art is powered by the powerful 4B11 turbo four-cylinder and mated up to the dual clutch SST transmission. Behind the wheel will be Dave Smith, Marten Hansen, Tony Brokohiapa and Lars Wolfe.
All 11 vehicles will tout the BFGoodrich® Tires g-Force™ R1™, a superior tire derived from decades of motorsports innovation, engineering and domination. The g-Force R1 tire is designed for drivers looking for a competition-ready tire with superior grip and sharp steering response. The symmetric, non-directional tread design also provides for excellent cornering power and precise turn-in, which stimulates confidence for garnering the quickest lap times in road racing competition.
The BFGoodrich Tires g-Force R1 features the ultimate in DOT-legal technology and delivers the best results on the track. The tread compound offers quick warm-up, superior cornering power and consistent grip lap after lap. With the ability to be used at different vehicle wheel positions, and rotated in different directions, the g-Force R1 tire will maximize tread life with an even wear profile for the most and most consistent possible laps at the track.
The 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Mothers® Polishes • Waxes • Cleaners will commence its sixth annual run on December 5th at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, Calif. A traditional feature event on the NASA calendar, this race is a season highlight for endurance racing teams from all over the world. More than 70 teams are registered for the longest closed course road race in North America. The large fields, nonstop action and prestige of the event attract top teams and drivers from across the country and should result in intense competition for the big win. The 25 Hours of Thunderhill takes place at Thunderhill Raceway Park, one hour north of Sacramento in the Willows foothills.
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 30 years, BFGoodrich® Tires is involved in every type of racing, including oval, sports car, drifting, drag, desert, dirt, rally and extreme rock-crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at www.bfgoodrichtires.com