Behind the 25: A Journey to the Center of the Race

Sunrise.  The warm, orange glow of a brand new day starts to soften the chill of another Thunderhill night.  It's not really day yet, but things are moving in that direction.  That's how it always goes.  Park.  Pop the hatch.  Get your stuff.  You know the drill.

Five years, huh?  That was quick…

The amazing thing about this race is that there's so much depth.  Everyone who returns brings a little more experience.  The same tenacity as last year is a little more effective now than it was then.  Somehow, the relentless march of 25 Hours is a little more fluid; the surprises are a little less surprising.  You spend less time figuring out how to handle each situation, and more time figuring out how to handle it better.

Make no mistake, there'll still be curve-balls.  If you don't keep your eyes open, things'll go pear-shaped in a hurry.  But every December, you come back a little bit better, and those same curve balls don't seem to curve quite as much as they once did.

Also, there will be some new folks.  Give 'em a hand!  That's why we're all here.  I mean, that's what the 25 Hours of Thunderhill is about, right?  As the legacy of the race continues, people will come and go, teams will come and go, cars will come and go.  But the challenges remain, as do the opportunities and the possibilities.  The adventures are always different, but they're always familiar.

Every time a wizened old face is replaced by a new one, the legacy of the race extends a little wider.  The people and the teams that depart leave their imprint on the race, and they take the memories and lessons of the race with them.  The rookies show up to start the process anew.

This year, my goal is to share some new stories as well.  I want to take you behind the scenes at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.  I want to show you what it takes to make this race go, year after year after year.  I want to show you the things that seem familiar, and what it takes for those familiar aspects of the race to persist.

So the next time you witness a scene like the one above…

Don't forget that it encompasses a foundation of planning, coordination, and practice.

Don't forget that it requires attention to the finest details.

If you marvel at the #52 JFC Wolf setting a 1:38.333 fastest race lap on Sunday morning…

Don't forget that the team came back from 2014 and 2015 DNFs to get there, and that they had to rebuild the rear of the car Saturday night just so they could catch the Sunday morning sunrise.

And don't forget the diligent effort required just to capture and share those stories.

I want to tell you some new stories this year.  We already started the journey with some of the most familiar aspects of the race, and we'll wind our way towards the core of what makes the 25 Hours of Thunderhill so distinct.

Don't miss the next chapter!  Click here to subscribe.The full Behind the 25 series:

  1. Behind the 25: A Journey to the Center of the Race
  2. Fractal Nature
  3. Food and Shelter
  4. Speed or Precision
  5. Like Hawks
  6. Enforce and Protect
  7. Muscle
  8. A Glimpse Behind the Curtain


Hey, it's me! I’ve been a documentary photographer for 17 yrs, software engineer for even longer, and plenty of other things in between.