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Old 12-14-2010
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Thumbs up Robert Davis Racing Brings All Three Cars Home at 25 Hours of Thunderhill


Left to right: Dennis Holloway, Scott Shelton, Robert Davis and Jim Holloway

- E1-class RX-8 finishes third; E2 RX-8 finishes second; E3 MAZDA2 finishes seventh -


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., Dec. 7, 2010 – Robert Davis Racing (RDR) took three racecars – a new 2011 MAZDA2 and two Mazda RX-8s -- to Thunderhill Raceway for the 2010 running of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA)’s 25-Hours of Thunderhill, and returned home with two of the three cars on their respective class podiums. As with all endurance races, it was a hard slog through rain, cold, darkness and a track that at times looked more like an off-road mud-bog course than a paved race track.

“At the start of the race, we really thought we had done our homework properly on the three cars,” said Robert Davis, RDR’s team principal. “Of course, mother nature and racing luck had other ideas. While the plan was to put all three cars on their podiums, we’ll take the two we had and call it a good weekend.”

In endurance racing, nothing is a given, and the team fought mechanical gremlins and the weather throughout. The crew knew it was going to be a long weekend when they’d spent most of the Thursday and Friday test days chasing a fuel delivery problem in the E1 class RX-8. They found the problem and the car qualified fourth in class in a rain- and accident-shortened night qualifying session. For the E2 class car, test days went well until the start of qualifying, as an issue in the engine required a change to a spare unit. Sound issues were dealt with through quick work by the team at Magnaflow Exhaust Products, and delivered to the track by Ron and Ed Bergenholz, of Bergenholtz Racing fame.

The MAZDA2 ran flawlessly in testing and qualified solidly for the race.

The race started under cloudy skies, and the expected rain arrived just before dusk. Driven by Dennis Holloway, John Edwards, Eric Foss and Jeremy Barnes, the E1 RX-8’s troubles started early, as a lengthy stop saw the transmission require replacement. As they had done so all weekend, RDR’s crew jumped on the problem, and the car was back on track in less than 45 minutes. A series of electrical problems that started after an unfortunate collision with local wildlife further slowed the car throughout the night. Spurred by the Mazda sprit to never give up, the car passed Atlanta Motorsports Group’s Mazda MX-5 on the very last lap of the race to finish in third place.
The E2- class RX-8 driven by Jim Holloway, Jim Daniels, Scott Shelton, Truman Pollard and Ken Saward ran the race almost without issue, except for a mid-race contact with another car, as the other car spun in front of the RX-8 and driver Jim Daniels was unable to avoid the accident. The impact damaged two of the car’s PIAA driving lights and put a nasty crease in the front bumper, but the car continued otherwise unharmed. The car finished second in class.
The E3 class MAZDA2 made its formal MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development factory-backed competition debut in the hands of journalists Dan Edmunds (Edmunds.com) and Mark Gillies (Car and Driver), and Mazda employees Tim Buck, Nathan Edmonds and Jim Jordan. It ran trouble-free for the entire race, with only a small scuff on the left-front corner to show for nearly 1,700 miles of racing. The MAZDA2 competed against a similarly equipped Honda Performance Development Honda Fit and another MAZDA2 entered by Hale Motorsports in the debut of the new B-Spec racing series.

“Even more so than in sprint racing, endurance racing is a team sport,” Davis noted. “Including our 14 drivers, we had 32 members of the extended RDR family on-hand to keep our cars running. Without their tireless efforts, experience and skills we’d never have been able to pull off the results we brought home. I’m proud to be associated with every one of them.”

The 25 Hours of Thunderhill closes out the RDR racing season. Look for off-season updates as they develop on www.RobertDavisRacing.com.

RDR appreciates the support of Mothers Polishes-Waxes-Cleaners, Whelen Engineering, Magnaflow, ARCO fuels, Castrol, SAFERACER, Hoosier Racing Tires, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, Motul, AIM Sports, Racing Hart, Nippon Paint, Racing Beat, SpeedSource, Hawk Brakes, AWR, Classy Car Auto Detailing, Sparco, Pure Power, Star Shield Armor, Petrol Eyewear, PIAA, and EMI.


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