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britcar15 (87)On paper a 28 car grid for a 24 hour race does not sound like a recipe for a great race but the first twice around the clocks race at Silverstone for 3 seasons, proved to be an epic and one packed with stories of heroism. With the field split in to 5 classes and only two small manufacturers, Ginetta and Radical running works cars as such, this race is more about the private teams and clubmen. It turned out that it was the class 3 and 4 cars which filled the podium as the faster class 1 and 2 cars suffered mechincal gremlins and/or incidents on track which saw the consistent runners come out on top.

Victory went to the Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam/Harry Whale/Jamie Chadwick/Ross Gunn with 529 laps completed and a gap of 5 laps to the crew in 2nd place. They also took class 3 in the process. 2nd overall and class 4 winners was the Bas Koeten Racing Seat Leon Cup Racer of Karel Gijs Bessem/Harry Hilders/Roger Grouwels. Completing the podium was the Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora of Hal Prewitt/Jim Brody/Alistair MacKinnon/Dirk Schulz/Sam Alpass a further 5 laps back and 2nd in class 3.

In class 1 it was the Radical Sportscars Radical RXC V8 of Laurence Wiltshire/Chahin Nouri/Martyn Smith/Richard Roberts who took the top honours in 7th overall, completing 492 laps after trouble hit their 24 hours early on seeing them pit earlier than all the other class 1 and 2 cars. Their race didn’t run smoothly from there on in but in the 2nd half of the race they had a largely consistent run to the finish from nowhere in class 1.

Class 2 went to one of the pair of MARC Focus V8’s with the Marc Cars Australia crew completing 489 laps, 9th overall and the crew of Tom Onslow-Cole/Paul White/Ben Gersekowski/Gary Jacobson running as one of the fastest cars on track in the final hour. The final category, class 5 went to the Red Camel Seat Leon of Ivo Breukers/Rik Breukers/Sjaco Griffioen who were 8th overall, only 1 lap behind the class 1 winners at the end of the 24 hours.

There were many stories throughout the field but the one that sums up the spirit of Britcar was that of the Ford Fiesta ST of the Paul Mensley team. Lapping at the best part of 10 seconds per lap slower than the next slowest car they showed consistency nets results as they climbed to 14th overall and despite a drivetrain scare in the last hour they managed to get to the finish to cheers from all. It is testament to their perseverance that they finished behind the pole sitting, fastest lap setting Team LNT Ginetta LMP3 as the last classified runner.

 

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