When last we met, Thunderhill Park was about to open its doors, participating in the birth of a race track and joining the harsh reality in motorsports venue operations. Like most new parents of a neonate, we weren’t exactly sure what we were doing. The track was done as far as we could go. We had a trailer for timing and scoring and another trailer which was basically a place for the stewards and for Pauline Laskin and her race central crew at the grand opening. The track had no curbs and remarkably few walls. The chosen weekend was Halloween and the San Francisco Region of the SCCA was ready. Since 1988 the Club had, in varying degrees, anticipated this event. The buzz within the road racing world and the local community was at an all-time high.
Toyo Tires will offer a new open tire contingency program to all Enduro classes during the 2013 regional racing season. The new contingency program will be available immediately and like all Toyo contingencies, it will be available to Enduro entrants competing on the Proxes® line of Toyo tires.
This new offering to the expansive Toyo contingency program in 2013 increases the available contingency from Toyo Tires to a whopping $10,000,000 in contingency value to NASA racers. One very important note about this new program is its availability to current Toyo contingency participants in other classes. Product awards are available to competitors in addition to any regional Toyo contingency they may have qualified for during the same day. This program is separate in nature and eligible for contingency awards even if a competitor may have already qualified for “Toyo bucks” during the same day. Simply put, if you usually run in a regional sprint racing class on a Toyo tire and collect contingency, you are now eligible to join the ranks of the Enduro competitors and vie for contingency in those classes as well!
Click here to find out more.
If you have been reading the story of Thunderhill you know we are up to the part where we start construction. We had just gotten permission to build the track and the period of notification to the local area had passed with nary a single complaint. The next step before construction was to announce the successful status of the track effort. We did this through a video and a site visit plus Wheel press. The video was made using a helicopter to fly over a track carved into the landscape that sort of replicated the design created by Steve Crawford. We shot the video by hanging off the runner of the helicopter as it followed the path of the track plowed into the earth by our new neighbor Thor Oden. We still have that video. We showed the video at the SCCA banquet in 1992 and we issued press in the Wheel. I think Club members were pleased with what they saw and heard but there were still those folks who thought that Willows was too far away and that this would be the death knell of the project. The original parameter for location was one hour from the intersection of 580 and 680 in Pleasanton. It had to do with travel time.
Dear NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Competitor,
Many of you are likely already planning for the 2013 25 hours of Thunderhill, but we wanted to take a moment and inform you of your chance to relive all the action during "Survive the 25" Airing on NBC Sports Network March 15 at 12:00 a.m. ET/9:00pm PT. The documentary brought to you in part by Mazda and Hankook Tires follows 4 teams as the attempt to complete the longest and most punishing endurance road race in North America. I'm certain you will spot many folks you know and maybe even see yourself or team during thetelecast. We hope you enjoy the production!
As a courtesy to our continued efforts of bring your stories to as many people as we can reach, would each of you be so kind as to post the link below on your Facebook walls to not only let all of your friends know how challenging this race truly is, but to also help spread the word on just how much fun endurance racing truly can be!
We would also ask that each of you like us on Facebook for any additional details regarding this great event.
For those of you who remember the “Fractured Fairy Tales” segment of the Bullwinkle Show I now offer a similar version of the conception, birth and growth of Thunderhill Park, [the Hill] our now adult road race track just about to celebrate its 20th year. Wow, time flies when you are having fun!
One of the best parts of the story of the Hill is that it came about as a solution to a problem confronting the then board of directors of the San Francisco Region of the Sports Car Club of American [Incorporated April 15th, 1953] that included Tom McCarthy, Roger Eandi, Gary Meeker, Lynn Hunting, Jon Norman, Tom Piantanida and Clint DeWitt. What they decided to do as a result of feeling poorly treated by the management of the tracks serving the area, specifically Laguna Seca and Sears Point, was to build their own road course. Why not?
Willows, Ca. February 14, 2013….. Alternative Energy Systems [AES] a Chico based solar company is ensconced at the local Thunderhill Raceway Park in the process of installing 314 solar panels to the already diverse energy program at the Willows road race track. The $336,824 project began just a week ago and is schedule to bring the facility to a point nearing grid-neutral status when combined with the track’s three wind generators and the pending solar field to be located on 133 acres of property north of the raceway. “We are very excited about this project and what it means to the image and energy use of Thunderhill Park,” noted track energy expert Stuart Seitz. Seitz is a 2010 graduate of Chico State and three-year employee of the raceway located at 5250 Hwy 162 in Willows.
This year Marks the 10th year of the NASA 25 hour race at Thunderhill Raceway Park. The event will run from Saturday December 8 starting at 11:00 am until Sunday December 12 ending at 12:00pm. Spectators are welcome and ther is a gate fee of $15 per person with children under 16 free.
If you’ve never been to a long endurance race before, you’re missing out. At 25 hours, NASA’s annual enduro at Thunderhill is the longest in the world. Though it’s mostly amateur teams running, there’s no shortage of excitement, skill, determination, perseverance, hard work, and hard decisions. Click here to read more.
For info on garage rentals at Thunderhill