GREENVILLE, S.C. - Gas-electric hybrid technology. A battle of the B-cars. The ultimate test of engineering. A battle of production-based racing machines in one of the longest, most grueling on-track competitions in the world - the 2010 NASA (National Auto Sport Association) 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Mothers® Polishes & bull Waxes & Cleaners taking place this weekend, Dec. 3-5, 2010, at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, Calif. Many of the teams and drivers who will be taking on this challenge will only do so on one tire, the BFGoodrich® g-Force® R1£ tire.
The BFGoodrich g-ForceR1 tire is a DOT-legal tire derived from decades of motorsports innovation, engineering and domination, designed to be competition-ready with superior grip and sharp steering response, outlasting the competition without "dropping off" in grip level during a race stint. Additionally, teams who have selected the g-ForceR1 tire have the benefit of BFGoodrich Tires' professional technical engineering and the tire-fitting support that BFGoodrich has supplied to Thunderhill competitors for years.
"BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires will help propel our teams with ultimate grip and performance through every lap of the day-long-plus-one race, making it the perfect choice for race teams during the 25 Hours of Thunderhill," said Tom Jupena, marketing communications manager, BFGoodrich Tires. "We will be there to support our teams in this test of endurance and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments on the podium on Sunday."
Teams running BFGoodrich tires will be fielding a wide array of vehicles including two gas-hybrid Honda Performance Development (HPD) Honda CR-Zs - only the second time that hybrid vehicles have raced in organized competition in the U.S. - and the first-ever "battle of the B cars" featuring Honda Research-West's Honda Fit lining up against Mazda's MAZDA2, both racing in the Enduro 3 (E3) class.
BFGoodrich Tires 25 Hours of Thunderhill Teams Include:
Team Honda Research-West and Honda Performance Development are revving up their entries with three vehicles in the E3 class. Team Honda Research-West will showcase the performance of the Honda FIT shod with 205/50-15 g-Force R1tires. This entry, #15, will be piloted by Honda employees Sam Poznanovich, Max Kiert, Brian Shanfeld, Scott Nicol and NASA Sponsorship Manager Jeremy Croiset, as well as journalists Dan Edmunds (Edmunds.com) and Mark Gillies. HPD is fielding the #19 and #93 gas-electric hybrid CR-Zs, fitted with 225/45-17 g-Force R1 tires. The driver line-up for the CR-Zs include ALMS regular Simon Pagenaud, sports car racer PD Cunningham, Lawson Aschenbach, journalist Larry Webster, as well as Honda employees Sage Marie, former SCCA champion Lee Niffenegger, Bryan Johnson and Chad Gilsinger, a 2010 SCCA champion who recently returned from the Baja 1000 co-driving the BFGoodrich Tires-supported Wide Open Challenge buggy, finishing second in class.
MAZDASPEED will be battling the #15 FIT by entering the E3-class #20 MAZDA2, also featuring 205/50-15BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires. Journalists Dan Edmunds (Edmunds.com) and Mark Gillies will have the chance to compare the two cars in race conditions as they will also be driving the FIT, but in the MAZDA2 they will be joined by Mazda employees Jim Jordan, Nathan Edmonds and Tim Buck.
Bimmerworld will showcase the combined merits of "the ultimate driving machine" and 265/35-18 g-Force R1 tires with their 1995 Endurance 0 (E0)-class #31 BMW M3. Originally built to Group N specifications, the BMW, featuring an S54 engine from the 2001-2006 E46-chassis M3, now competes in NASA's GTS Challenge. The car is currently ranked third in class in NASA's Western Endurance Racing Championship and is a contender for the win at this year's 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The driver line-up is an all BMW Car Club of America (BMWCCA) affair, with regular drivers Scott Smith and Lance Boicelli being joined by their regular competitor from the #32 car, Julie Wolf, and the team's former crew chief Peter Guagenti.
Acutech/Gogogear.com is running a specially-prepared 225/45-17 BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tire-shod #81 Acura Integra Type R in the E2 class. This team is running for a special cause, the Universal Technical Institute (www.uti.edu) Foundation, which assists individuals in completing their technical training by providing public service education programs, scholarships and grants. Pledges to the Foundation will be given on a per-lap basis. The UTI team captain is Ali Arsham, manager of a "special" classroom at the UTI campus in Sacramento, Calif. Arsham's students are part of the team's crew and have had a hand in every aspect of the car on and off the track, from painting to in-race refueling. Besides Arsham, who has had previous success in the 25 Hour event, additional #81 pilots include Niki Tam, Chris Price, RJ Reeves and U.S. Touring Car Champion Dave Brown.
Arsham has used BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires many times in competition. "The g-Force R1 tire is remarkable," he said. "It is just as fast on the first lap as it is on lap 200. It never gives you any issues and is just well behaved. And it lasts an amazing amount of time. We plan on only two pit stops for the entire race if everything goes well."
The 2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill presented by Mothers® Polishes & bull Waxes & bull Cleaners will commence its eighth annual run on December 6th 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 75 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 40 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 at www.BFGoodrichTires.com