After fourteen hours, the running order in the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill was unsurprisingly changed from a few hours before. Safety Car number seven came out at 1:10 a.m. pacific time, freezing the field and proving a break to look at the race.
The #00 Motorsports Solution Porsche which leapt into the lead at the start and spent the middle hours clinging to a top-five spot, took over the lead after the sixth safety car period, after the #66 Lynam Silverado surrendered first place to the #161 StammerInc/Bavarian Performance BMW when the Lynam truck stopped for a brake pad change shortly after 12 hours.
The Motorsport Solution Porsche and the Lynam also were quicker than the StammerInc BMW, but the StammerInc, after losing the lead it held briefly and dropping to third, found some more pace and began hunting down the Lynam Silverado.
Chasing this trio but a few laps down was the #64 Motorsport Solution Porsche in fourth. All these cars are in the ES class.
The #18 Davidson racing RCR Eagle ran fifth, trying to erase the time lost in the pits, it is once again six laps down, but leading the ESR class. The #18 Eagle was the quickest car on the track and working hard to erase the six-lap deficit; the car’s reliability has and will continue to determine the issue.
In sixth was the #68 Pure Performance BMW 325, leading the EO class
Tenth was the #55 CJ Wilson Young Guns Miata, leading in E1, with the #53 CJ Wilson Miata right behind it on the same lap. The #49 949 Racing Miata which had briefly stolen the class lead was twelfth, three laps down after a long pit stop.
The #30 Miatacage.com PTE Miata led E3 in thirteenth overall, while in seventeenth, the #73 Atlanta Motorsport Group Mazda MX-5 has taken over the E2 class lead after the #12 Robert Davis 2 Mazda RX-8 went to the garage s on Lap 308.
In 21st, the #48 Factory 48 Radical SR3 soldiered on, ten laps down and determined to catch up before the race’s end at noon on Sunday. The car had had a 140-mph blowout followed by a bad engine, which the crew changed in under an hour.
On lap 400, after 14 hours 42 minutes of racing, the #00 Motorsport Solutions Porsche pitted from the lead with possible front-end damage, possibly from a collision.
This let the #66 Lynam Silverado back into the lead, with the #161 StammerInc BMW only 40 seconds behind. By the time the #00 Porsche got back on track, the car was two laps behind the leaders in fourth place, behind its team car the #64 Motorsports Solution Porsche.
When the #00 did rejoin, it was lapping several seconds off its pre-pit stop pace.
Also very important, the #18 Davidson RCR Eagle was thus only a two laps behind the third- and fourth-placed cars; suddenly a podium position was well within reach, and an overall win looked a lot more possible.
This is the joy of old-school endurance racing; cars break, cars get fixed and come back, other cars break, drivers make errors and lose time and maybe have a chance to make it up.
After fifteen hours of racing, it is absolutely impossible to even make a sensible guess about who will take the checkered flag first in ten hours’ time.
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