2021 25 Hours of Thunderhill Winner with Team Spoon Sports
The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) annually hosts the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, one of the longest closed circuit racing events in the world. For the 2021 running of this race, Spoon Sports Japan and Spoon Sports USA joined efforts to compete in the E0 class in a FK8 Honda Civic Type R. Cameron Parsons was invited to join the team, taking part in the vehicle setup development and in the highly acclaimed endurance race.
The driving team was made up of legendary drivers and motorsport industry figures including: US drivers Daijiro Yoshihara, Aaron Wang, and Cameron Parsons, alongside Japanese drivers Taketoshi Matsui, Yasunori Nakajima, Tatsuru Ichishima, Eiji ‘Tarzan’ Yamada. This effort was intended as a 70th birthday celebration for Spoon founder Tatsuru Ichishima, who ultimately brought the car to the finish line. The racecar started as a road-going vehicle bought from a Honda dealership, stripped down to the bare chassis and built up to its racing state. A majority of the components were all Spoon branded parts, including but not limited to bodywork, engine upgrades, and chassis updates. Other partners included Cameron's sponsors such as Sparco for vehicle safety equipment, and KW Suspension for the car's 3-way motorsport dampers.
The US team and select members of the Japan team came stateside to put in countless hours of preparation ahead of the event. On the week of the race itself, the remaining crew and drivers flew in. With all the drivers and crew in the same place for the first time just two days before the race, focus was set on final vehicle setup and developing the race strategy. Thursday and Friday practice was filled with practice stops, setup testing, tire and fuel longevity tests, and frequent system checks.
The car started from second place in the E0 class on Saturday morning with Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada taking the first stint. Attrition occurred early in the race as the class leader fell out of the race due to a mechanical failure, putting the Spoon team in first place. The car and team continued through a hard fought battle, staying ahead by holding to its planned strategy for a strong but safe pace, quick pit stops, and perfectly timed fuel and tire stops. The race was forced to pause at about 6:45 PM on Saturday due to heavy fog, and continued at 4:00 AM the next morning. Due to the delay, the race finish time was pushed back, making for a total race length of approximately 17 hours. Cameron had the opportunity to pilot the car for a single stint on Saturday, plus a double stint on Sunday that was split by a fuel and tire stop. With a 12 lap advantage over second place with just an hour remaining, Spoon founder Tatsuru Ichishima brought the car to the finish line for the race win.