DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2014) - ONE Motorsports is pushing to go the extra mile this offseason by preparing for a 25-hour race Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7 at Thunderhill Raceway Park  in Willows, California.
 
The team is working to win the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance while it also prepares for a second season with multiple entries in theIMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series in 2015.
 
ONE Motorsports is hoping the sixth time is the charm at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, as the overall title has eluded the team in its previous five attempts in the unique race. ONE won the ESR class title in 2012 and 2013.  
 
"We have two Radical SR3's that we'll take with us," ONE Motorsports team owner Jeff Shafer said. "We have them stripped down after each run and spend the year basically rebuilding them. This is our only endurance event that we take part in, so we put a lot of effort into modifying the cars and making sure they're ready."
 
Eight drivers will team up to drive the two cars. The lineup includes two of the team's Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda drivers, Todd Slusher and John Falb. Their driver coach, Sean Rayhall, the 2013 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda champion, will share a car with Falb, Slusher and Jesse Menczer.
 
The newest additions to the ONE Motorsports team, Gerhard Watzinger and Dave House, will drive the second car along with team driver coach, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge champion Colin Braun, and George Kurtz. Watzinger and House will make their Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda debut in 2015 in a full season with ONE, based in Las Vegas.
 
Falb will compete in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill for the third time. He carries more experience than ever into the endurance race after winning the inaugural season ofNARRA Radical Cup and the Lites 1 Masters championship in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda competition in 2014.
 
"I prefer the endurance races to the sprint races," Falb said. "The Lites cars do require more effort, physical fitness and coaching. It forced me to improve. The sprint races are so frantic. In the endurance race, it's long and there are intense conditions, but you can be more patient. I think we're ready this year. We bumped up our preparation timeline. We had the cars done a month early so we would be able to test."
 
In the team's first season in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, ONE Motorsports took home the L1 Masters championship title with Falb and second place in the L2 Championship with Slusher. The drivers were teammates in Radical Cup and Prototype Lites this season, but this will be the first time they share a car at Thunderhill.
 
"The first race we teamed up was at the (Winterfest) PBOC six-hour endurance event." Slusher said. "We ended up winning the event, so we thought we might just have something going here. So hopefully that was a sign, and we'll do well again.
 
"This is a great endurance event. We go against factory teams and drivers. The conditions are intense. At night, it will get down to 20 degrees. It rains a lot and you're in the car for two to three hours at a time. You're basically on call during the event; you never know when they'll need to throw you in the car."
 
Shafer believes racing in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda elevated Falb and Slusher to new levels from their previous NARRA Radical Cup series experience and will add to their chances of winning at Thunderhill.
 
"It's fun to watch people develop as drivers," Shafer said. "I think both John and Todd were pushed to another level. Running in Lites helped prepare them, and I think they both got better.
 
"It's rewarding to see them improve because John and Todd are the reason we could compete in the Lites program. I have a lot to thank them for, as well as my wife, who I co-own the team with. She plays a big part in pushing this team forward."
 
ONE Motorsports is touted as one of the teams to beat at Thunderhill. The team's goal is always victory, but the plan of action to get there is woven from experience and frustration.
 
"Our goal is to not screw up," Shafer said jokingly. "That is always the goal. But seriously, it's to not beat ourselves and to have a smoother race than the year before. We're always really fast on track, our drivers are prepared, you refresh what you can on the car. But at some point it's just a little bit of luck that gets you to your goal. The other times it's a 25-cent bolt that breaks. That's what happened to us last year."
 
The mix of prototype cars and endurance racing is most appealing to ONE Motorsports. The team's long-term goal is to eventually race in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
 
"I would personally like to see the team go from amateur to pro," Shafer said. "Endurance events like Thunderhill are stepping stones. It's all about learning and gaining experience. Then the next step is the big boy show."
 
NBC Sports is planning to feature ONE Motorsports in an upcoming show about the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, "Survive the 25." Air times and dates will be announced in the near future.
 
For updates on ONE Motorsports and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, follow the team onFacebook and Twitter at  @OneMotorsports. The team will also have live in-car cameras for fans to follow both cars' progress.
 
For updates from the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series, follow IMSA on Facebook and Twitter at @imsa and use the hashtag #CTPL. Visitimsa.com/series/prototype-lites for details on all of the competition. 
 

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