There are ways to test hybrid vehicles – emission tests, fuel efficiency experiments, and road trips — but very few involve a grueling 25 hour endurance race. Recently Honda’s CR-Z hybrid proved it was up to the challenge by finishing second in the famous Thunderhill Endurance Race in Willows, California!
Now in its ninth year, the Thunderhill Race is organized by the National Auto Spot Association. Although it doesn’t have the worldwide acclaim of Le Mans (a 24 hour race) or the Sebring race (12 hours), it is still very popular in racing circles.
As such, many car manufacturers and racing teams take part in the Thunderhill to not only test the drivers, but their vehicles. With that in mind, Honda took the opportunity to roll out their CR-Z hybrid, marking the first time the Japanese manufacturer have ever entered a team in the race. It was also the first time the company had entered a racing version of one of their hybrid models.
Honda’s hybrid ended up making a very strong showing, complete with an epic comeback after falling almost ten laps behind. The CR-Z hybrid finished second in its class, just behind the Mazda Miata. Both finished ahead of many cars in faster classes with more power.
Hybrids are not usually the car of choice in such a race, with many drivers opting for powerful cars like Porsche Carreras, BMW 3-Series, or smaller models like the Miata. However with a debut this impressive, we might just see more and more hybrids competing in racing events.