Latest News > Motorsports Monday: 25 Hours of Thunderhill and 2014 Preparation

Motorsports Monday: 25 Hours of Thunderhill and 2014 Preparation

by Ryan ZumMallen on

25 Hours of Thunderhill: What’s crazier than racing for 24 consecutive hours? Racing for 25 consecutive hours, duh. That’s right, it was time again for the annual NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill in Willows, California over the weekend, and a total of 57 cars in six different classes took to the 2.58-mile Thunderhill Raceway to battle it out. Rotek Racing emerged victorious with their No. 24 Audi TT RS, followed by the No. 83 Barrett Racing Porsche GT3 Cup and the No. 38 Radical West Radical on the podium. Rotek held the lead from 5:00am Sunday on, totaling more than seven hours up front to the checkered flag. Drivers of the winning car included Robb Holland, Kevin Gleason, Jeff Altenburg, Roland Pritzker and Rob Huff. Thunderhill takes a special kind of crazy – the race saw 13 caution flags, after all – and our hats off to all 40 of the cars that finished the mighty race.

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V8 Supercars: Volvo may have been a surprise entrant when they announced their intention to compete in V8 Supercars in 2014, but the Swedish brand generally known for safety showed they mean business with the unveiling of their new race engine. Derived from the same 4.4L V8 in the XC90 SUV, this powerplant will feature roughly double the horsepower and be stuffed into race-prepped S60 racecars. Polestar, their version of Mercedes’ AMG division, tuned the engine to reach stratospheric heights. We can’t wait to see it battle with the likes of Holden, Ford, Benz and Nissan next year.

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World Endurance Championship: Speaking of next year, Audi have wasted no time in beginning their quest for the 2014 WEC title. Just one week after securing the 2013 championship, the team took to the Sebring Raceway today with the newest version of their R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 car. The turbodiesel-hybrid racecar has a tough road ahead, with a third 24 Hours of Le Mans overall win in their sights but increased pressure from both Toyota and now Porsche factory teams. What’s more, the WEC mandated new efficiency regulations for 2014 to even the field. Can the R18 make magic once again?

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Formula E: Did this electrified racing series seem like a joke up until now? Racing fans have seem ambitious plans come and go a thousands times before (see: New Jersey, Grand Prix of), but Formula E has scored a major haul by attracting the support of actor Leonardo DiCaprio to sponsor a team in the inaugural season next year. DiCaprio will partner with Venturi Automobiles to field the tenth team in Formula E, which will host spec EV racecars in races around the world. Other notable teams include Audi, Andretti Autosport and Virgin, but the addition of DiCaprio brings star power and possibly even crossover appeal into the mainstream world of sports and entertainment. Don’t expect Leo to hop behind the wheel when Formula E kicks off in September, but this is the next best thing.

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