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Friday, March 06 2015 @ 03:05 AM PST


General News
For the four days leading up to Saturday December 3rd, race teams from all over the world will be converging on Willows, California for the 9th running of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the longest automobile endurance race in the western hemisphere. The grueling test of man and machine will take the green flag at 11 am on Saturday December 3rd and proceed non-stop until noon on Sunday December 4th. Eighty six [86] teams composed of as many as six drivers per team will battle fender to fender, rain or shine, on the three-mile, fifteen turn road racing course located just west of Interstate 5 on highway 162 in Willows California. The overall winning team will have never stopped except for fuel, tires and driver changes and will have completed more laps than any other car on the track in the 25 hours that have elapsed. Other drivers will have done the same in their respective classes resulting in one overall race winner and five class winners representing different sizes and styles of cars.
“This is the most grueling race anywhere in the world,” noted event organizer Jerry Kunzman. “At tracks like Daytona, Sebring and even LeMans in France the  endurance races held there are the result of years of practice and adjustment.” “Even though we have done this event on eight previous occasions, the look and feel of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill is a throw back to a time when racing was not about big-business and the competitors were a combination of driving talents and back-yard mechanics.” “This is a race that everyone knows about and talks about but no one wants to change.” “No one wants it to become a big publicity deal,” Kunzman said.

The drivers list reads like a who’s who of road racing but most do not want their professional race teams to know they are here. On Sunday at noon when the trophies are handed out there will be no big checks or long diatribes about sponsors. This is a race for racers! It is a bit of a cult event in the sport. Most teams that pay the entry fee say that it is an honor to compete and win in the 25 hours of Thunderhill!
Area enthusiasts and the curious can attend the opening ceremonies and Air Force jet fly-by on Saturday for a meager $10 admission ticket that is good for the whole weekend. Tickets are sold at the gate only. Parking is free and the start of he race alone is worth the price of admission and is a sight to behold. “No where in racing, no where in the world, will 86 cars ranging from high-speed LMP cars and prototypes speed into the first turn amidst Mazda Miatas, Honda Fits and everything in between. The potential for chaos exceeds even that of the Indianapolis 500.
Gates open at 8 am on Saturday when fans can walk up to the cars and drivers, some of whom they will recognize from national television and movies as well as racing. The line-up begins at 10 am and pre-race ceremonies, including the Air Force Color Guard and the jet fly by, will take place before the green flag at 11 am. Fans can stay until midnight and then return at 7 am on Sunday for the conclusion of the longest automobile race in the country. No over night camping is available nor is access provided after midnight.
Thunderhill Park is located just 7 miles west if Interstate 5 going west past the Wal-Mart on highway 162 in Willows.The National Auto Sport Association [NASA] is the event organizer and official for all aspects of the event. Food service will be available from early Saturday morning to mid afternoon on Sunday and include breakfast, lunch and dinner.Spectator viewing is done from hill sides and with some grandstands available. Parking and seating are included in the $10 per person admission.
Information about the 25 hours of Thunderhill can be obtained by calling (530) 934-5588 ext 100 or 101.