Thursday, September 03, 2009

Competing in the sixth round of the Britcar Championship held on Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit, Nicholas Mee Racing experienced its first disappointment of the season during the 4-hour endurance race but still earned a worthy 3rd place in the Aston Martin Challenge to maintain a healthy series* lead.

Due to regular driver Karsten Le Blanc being unavailable for the race at Snetterton, NMR welcomed two new drivers to team up with NMR’s other regular, Christiaen van Lanschot: experienced GT driver Ben de Zille Butler and Aston Martin historic racer David Clark.

All three drivers shared the Saturday morning’s short qualifying session with de Zille Butler setting the fastest time, qualifying the NMR Aston Martin GT4 in 18th overall and 3rd of the four AM Challenge contenders entered.

The rolling start passed without incident and van Lanschot made good progress up the leaderboard before being given a drive-through penalty for cutting the technically challenging last corner. This cost the team around 30 seconds but van Lanschot made up for this setback during his 80 minute stint and handed over to newcomer de Zille Butler while in 13th overall and 2nd of the AM Challenge contenders.

The second stint contained a scheduled pitstop for fuel and tyres and, after posting consistently rapid lap times to build a clear lead over the other AM contenders, de Zille Butler pitted for the second time with 80 minutes of the race remaining while in 9th place overall to hand over to third driver Clark.

Having not driven at Snetterton for over 10 years, Clark steadily settled into his stint with the knowledge that he was defending NMR’s AM Challenge lead from the hard-charging Calum Lockie of the Strata 21 team.

With just 15 minutes of the race remaining and while in 10th position overall, NMR’s car suffered an apparent electrical failure which caused Clark to stop out on the circuit. Efforts to restart the car were unsuccessful and so NMR’s race ended there.

Team Principal Nicholas Mee said, “Everyone in the team did a fantastic job and so we’re obviously all disappointed that we’ve not collected full points and maintained our 100% race reliability record. However, we’re consoled by our solid pace being sufficient for 13th overall and 3rd in the AM Challenge, which in turn means that our healthy lead in the AM series is maintained”.

NMR is now preparing for the biggest challenge of the season; the Britcar 500 6-hour race to be held at Silverstone on October 3rd

AMR Teams
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