The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) held Round 4 at Thunderhill Raceway. The 2-hour enduro pushed the limits of man, machine and… hood.

The WERC series runs six different classes simultaneously, which makes for great traffic and challenging racing. Prototypes run in the quick ESR Class while Nissan SE-Rs, Mazda Miatas and BMW E30s bring up the rear in the E3 Class. In between those two extremes is everything from Ford Mustangs to Honda Civics (some Hondas kept their hoods for the entire race).

ESR Class

Team Green Alternative Motorsports was going to win their class no matter what during this event since they were the only ESR car that bothered to show up. But just to show everybody the have the right stuff they went ahead and took the overall win for the event in their number 88 Green Machine.

E0 Class

Taking second overall and winning the E0 Class was Team Road Shagger Racing in the number 61 BMW.

Grabbing second in E0 (and third overall) was the number 31 BMW of Team Bimmerworld.

The third spot in E0 went to Team Ciencia Extrana in their number 98 BMW.

ES Class

Winning first place in ES was this gorgeous number 161 BMW of Team Stammer Inc.

Taking second in ES (after losing oil pressure late in the race) was the number 66 Chevrolet of Team Super Truck driven by Troy Lindstrom.

Earning third in ES was the number 91 BMW of Team Ross.

E1 Class

Winning E1 was the number 4 car of Team BAF Racing.

Earning second in E1 was the number 87 Acura of Team 3D Racing.

Picking up the third spot in the E1 Class was the number 43 Honda Civic of Team Speed Motorsports.

E2 Class

Winning E2 was the number 64 Mazda Miata of Team Brown/Heyer.

Taking second in E2 was the number 175 BMW of Team South Bay Independent.

Earning third place in the E2 Class was the number 21 Mazda RX-7 of Team Frederick Racing.

E3 Class

Winning the largest class in the field, E3, was Team Driven to the Track in the number 117 Mazda Miata. The team name says it all, this car was driven to the event towing a small trailer carrying race tires and pulled off the win in the hotly contested E3 Class. Very impressive.

Taking second in E3 was the number 33 Nissan Sentra SE-R of Krider/Kramer Racing with some much appreciated assistance from Jim Wolf Technology, I/O Port Racing Supplies and Hoosier Tires. This finish stretches the team's lead in the 2010 WERC E3 Championship.

Finishing up on the third and final podium spot in E3 was the number 511 Mazda Miata of Team 3D Racing 2.

United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC)

Round 5 of the USTCC ran in conjunction with Round 4 of the WERC series.

Winning the USTCC (hoodless) was the number 94 Honda driven by Pete Bovenberg.

Taking second in the USTCC was the number 13 BMW driven by Tommy Lo.

Unofficially finishing third in the USTCC was the number 14 car driven by Gordon Pun.

Officially finishing third in the USTCC was the number 5 BMW driven by Larry Bani. What is the deal with the official results and unofficial results in USTCC? "Officially" I couldn't tell you.

But I can "officially" tell you that the USTCC did "officially" end the life of a car during the event. Ron Valtierra's number 43 Mazdaspeed3 rolled in Thunderhill's very fast Turn 8. Thanks to the extensive safety gear NASA requires, Ron walked away from the crash.

Even though the chassis is a total loss, the car's sponsor Performance In-Frame Tuning says they have big plans for that turbo engine. Rumor has it the power plant will end up in something much lighter than the Mazdaspeed3 it originally came in.

In the end celebratory champagne was appropriately sprayed and trophies were awarded to all of the podium finishers.

Remember boys and girls, it's good to be a racecar driver.

Round 5 of NASA's 2010 WERC series will be at Buttonwillow Raceway in October with the finale of the series to be held at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in December.


The great on-track photos were taken by Head-On Photos and the awards pictures were taken by Arial Gracy.