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December 2010
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Carl Rydquist to drive the 25 Hours of Thunderhill

December 3rd, 2010 by john

As many of you know, our City Tire team driver Carl Rydquist has been piloting endurance races for a majority of his racing career. 4 years he has competed in the top class of the 24 hours of Nürburging. Now in his first endurance race in the US Carl will be amped up to perform at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill this coming weekend.



 Team MER Plans Star-Studded Assault on 25 Hours of Thunderhill


MLB Pitcher and Film Star Join Road Racing Aces for 2010 Team




FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 30, 2010) – Team MER is pulling out all the stops in its bid to reclaim the 25 Hours of Thunderhill title and bounce back from a disappointing 2009 race. Entering four Mazda cars in the grueling 25-hour endurance contest, which takes place just outside of Willows, Calif., Team MER is relying on an all-star lineup of road racing veterans, young up-and-comers, an MLB pitcher and a Hollywood actor to take home the win.


The No. 36 Hankook/Burger On/MER MX-5, which finished fourth in the E1 class last year, is in very capable hands for 2010. Professional drifter and experienced road racer Tyler McQuarrie, who’s won E1 twice before, including with MER in 2008, will be in the driver’s seat. He’ll share driving duties with 2009 Western and Eastern Skip Barber Regional Champ David Cheng, NASA Spec Miata standout Darin Polsley and Texas Rangers starting pitcher, C.J. Wilson. Fresh off of his first World Series appearance, Wilson is no stranger to Thunderhill. The California native drove the No. 36 for MER in last year’s race, helping secure a fourth-place finish in class.


After a very long season of baseball, my attention instantly turned to competing in the 25 Hour with Team MER,” Wilson said. “Mazda has a great formula in the MX-5 Cup and after seeing firsthand how supportive and fun the entire field was last year, my teammates and I are really excited to see what’s in store for 2010.  Zoom Zoom!”


Team MER’s second entry in the E1 class is the 2008 class winner. The No. 74 Hankook/AE Performance/MER MX-5 boasts another head-turning roster that includes actor Paul Walker, best known for headlining The Fast and The Furious film franchise. His love of racing goes beyond the big screen, as Walker has been a serious competitor in the Red Line Time Attack series. Walker brings with him his long time advisor and GT3 Cup driver Roger Rodas. Two more Red Line Time Attack stars complete the driver lineup for the No. 74, including the 2010 Red Line Time Attack Driver of the Year and Super Modified AWD Champion Jeff Westphal, plus 2010 Modified RWD Champion Carl Rydquist, neither of whom are strangers to endurance races, including the 24 hour races of Daytona and the Nürburgring.


My teammates this year encompass everything necessary to have a great time racing while still being competitive,” Westphal said. “It’s a new experience for half of us, but with that said, I know they will adapt just fine.


The MER MX-5 Cup car is a well-sorted and front-running package. Actually, the very car we will be using won its class in the 25 two years back, so I have no hesitations that we will be in great shape come Saturday afternoon.”


The No. 80 MER/Hoosier RX-8 E0 class entry, more commonly known as Team MER’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge car, will have some serious road racing aficionados at the wheel, including Eric Curran, who’s won no less than 10 Continental Tire Challenge races in his career before moving up to the Rolex GT series in 2010. Team MER co-owner Shannon McMasters, a former Moroso 24 Hour race winner and longtime 25 Hours of Thunderhill entrant joins Curran in the No. 80 car, along with 2009 Skip Barber Master Series Champion Ward Herst.


The No. 73 Frank’s International/PaveCon/Hoosier/MER/Sparco MX-5 ES class entry will pull from Team MER’s SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup stable of drivers. Jeff Mosing arrives at Thunderhill after his best MX-5 Cup season yet, finishing a career-high second at Miller Motorsports Park. Russell Walker is coming off of his rookie season in MX-5 Cup, highlighted by a third-place finish at Mosport. Mosing and Walker are joined by team co-owner Jason Saini, the 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion and 2008 World Challenge Touring Car Rookie of the Year. As an E1 class winner in 2007 and overall winner in 2008, Saini knows what it takes to topple the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.


After the high of winning Thunderhill in 2008, last year was a pretty big disappointment,” Saini said. “One of our cars caught fire, but thankfully my friend and co-driver Charles Espenlaub was OK. He even went on to win the Continental Tire Challenge GS Championship this year. We wish he could be back with us for another run at the win, but he’s in Germany with the GS team accepting an award from BMW!


Even with last year’s misfortune, we bounced back and brought home a runner-up finish in the E1 class. Team MER never gives up and we’re going to take that same fighting spirit all the way to the checkered flag on Sunday.”


The 25 Hours of Thunderhill begins with a two full days of testing, Dec. 2-3, prior to qualifying at 5:15 p.m. (PST) on Dec. 3. The green flag flies at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, with the checkered flag coming out 25 hours later, at Noon on Sunday, Dec. 5. Live timing and scoring is available at


Team MER is in the hunt for another 25 Hours of Thunderhill win thanks to the support of its sponsors:


No. 36 Mazda MX-5: Hankook, BurgerOn

No. 73 Mazda MX-5: Sparco, Hoosier, 949 Racing, Frank’s International, PaveCon, Safecraft

No. 74 Mazda MX-5: Hankook, AE performance, Reachout Worldwide, the DRAW portfolio

No. 80 Mazda RX-8: Sparco, Hoosier, 949 Racing, ProParts

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