Huntington Beach, CA, December 11, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- The #83 Barrett Heritage Racing Porsche 911 Cup car finished the 2013 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill in second overall and second in the ES class. The team overcame a barrage of difficulties throughout the race's 25 hours to claw its way up the standings, slowly but steadily. Drivers Ted Barrett, Rick Barrett, Craig Stanton, Bob Faieta, and Andrew Davis were supported by a spectacular crew that kept the car on the track and made sure #83 was the top finishing Porsche when the clock struck 12 on Sunday.
The podium finish was particularly sweet for the team because it had never competed in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill before. It was also the first endurance event of this caliber for driver and Barrett Heritage Racing team owner Ted Barrett. Neither him or his son, Rick, had ever participated in an event of this length. Both of the Barretts race Porsches, but they mostly participate in sprint races. However, they knew that they could rely on the experience that Stanton, Faieta, and Davis brought to the team. 677 laps later, the Barretts were both veterans and on the podium.
In the months leading up to the race, Stanton worked with Ted and Rick religiously to build up their stamina and show them how to navigate the precarious traffic that is notorious at Thunderhill. Stanton is a veteran endurance driver, having raced with the biggest North American Porsche teams in ALMS and Grand-Am throughout his career. Stanton won the Rolex GT championship in 2005 driving a Porsche. A California native, Stanton was crucial to the development of Barrett Heritage Racing.
The weather on Friday evening threatened to rain, but the track stayed dry just long enough for Davis to qualify the car in eighth. The driver from Atlanta, GA is no stranger to a Porsche Cup car and was 2011 Rolex GT Champion in a Porsche. Racing since 1997, Davis has competed in a Porsche the last three seasons. Exiting the car after qualifying, he acknowledged that the car had more potential than the 1:48.110 qualifying time indicated, but the constant traffic created jams that even Davis could not overcome. Just over a second separated the fifth through eighth qualifiers, indicating that a close race was to follow.
Davis also started the race for Barrett Heritage Racing, and on the first lap, he managed to move up to fifth. At 12:44 on Saturday, Ted Barrett took over the wheel, and drove 82 minutes, the longest stint he has ever driven in a race car. Rick Barrett followed that up with his own personal record of 106 minutes in the car. It was Faieta who had the marathon sessions, though, with stint lengths of both three hours and two and a half hours. These sessions were vital to providing the other drivers with a chance to recharge their batteries. Faieta, a native Californian, is both a driver and owner of Competition Motorsports. This gives him the unique ability to know what a race car needs, and how to make it better. His role during the weekend required that he wear multiple hats, and his expertise helped in all aspects of the team.
As the drivers went on into the darkness, they battled harsh glare from the setting sun, lap traffic, and frigid temperatures down to the 20s. On the other side, the pit crew provided by Competition Motorsports also fought off the chill and tiredness that set in. Led by Luis Perocarpi, an alumnus of Champ Car and IRL teams, the crew soldiered on through the night with practically flawless pit stops. Whenever the car needed a little attention, the technicians knew exactly what to do before the car even stopped in the pit box.
Competition Motorsports also prepared and maintained the car, and transformed the Porsche into an endurance monster. The team regularly fields cars in ALMS, Pirelli Cup, and other North American racing series. Based in Southern California, Faieta and Competition Motorsports have travelled as far as Bathurst, Australia to participate in GT racing.
When the sun rose on Sunday, the #83 Porsche found itself in third place, with a hot Audi R8 closing in. Technical director Ken Lau had called a great race to this point, but the strategy he had for the end game allowed Barrett Racing to beat the Audi in the pits and on the track. Lau is an accomplished race engineer, and has achieved podium finishes at Petit LeMans, multiple Grand-Am races, and a Grand-Am Rolex GT championship in 2013. As the laps clicked down, Stanton put the car in second place and the team never looked back. Davis piloted the car across the finish line in second place overall, and second in class, completing 677 laps.
With their second place finish, Barrett Heritage Racing extended Porsche's streak of podium finishes at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Now that Barrett Heritage Racing has established a record of success at endurance racing, it is trying to decide what the future holds. This race was definitely something special, and the podium finish exceeded anybody's expectations of a rookie team.
The team would like to thank all of its sponsors and supporters, especially the Barrett Family, Competition Motorsports, Yokohama Tires, and ControlFreek.