enters 25 Hours of Thunderhill


June 11, 2013 by Brian Ghidinelli

It's been something I've wanted to do since I co-drove in a three-hour enduro at Buttonwillow Raceway in 2003. Finally this year, I'll be co-driving this 1990 BMW M3 in the E0 class at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill December 3-5th in Willows, CA. This is the longest road race in North America.

In 2005, I crewed for a Subaru WRX team that took 3rd place overall and the memory of a day-long race is unforgettable. The camaraderie, the exhaustion and the minute-by-minute emotional roller-coaster as the race unfolds create an incredible experience. 25 hours of green-flag racing translates into more like 36 hours of being on-call for pit stops, driver changes, gopher-ing and the occasional meal or moment of shut-eye. Just finishing the race is an accomplishment and it requires intense preparation and a great crew.

To make sure the pilots are well-rested, duties will be split among the four-driver team:

  • Lance Boicelli (Car owner, BMW CCA)

  • James Clay (BimmerWorld owner, BMW CCA, SPEED World Challenge)

  • Brian Ghidinelli ( founder, BMW CCA, SCCA)

  • Scott Smith (BMW CCA, Grand-Am and Targa Newfoundland)

My first wheel turned in anger in a race was behind the wheel of this E30 M3 prepared to a similar level. It's a fun car to drive with good balance and handling characteristics. The trick will be getting its highly-strung de-tuned 1980s Formula 1 technology to last for an entire season of racing in one day but Lance is going to great lengths to make the car ready.

After sitting out Spec Miata for a season and trying shifter karts, I'm excited to get back in the cockpit of a touring car. I'll be sure to follow-up with a post-race rundown on our effort but in the mean time, wish us luck!

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