Vantage Racing: Britcar 24h race report

Friday, October 08, 2010

Vantage Racing took part in its first 24 Hour race on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd October 2010. The Britcar 24 event was held on the “Bridge GP” circuit at Silverstone in atrocious weather conditions with heavy rain falling for much of the race duration and fog plaguing the night-time sessions (a full report of the race can be found at Nonetheless, it was an excellent and well-organised event which produced exciting racing and many thrills for the large crowd. Tom Black, Stuart Hall and Alan Bonner were the VR drivers for the event splitting the driving roughly equally between them. Most stints were of 80 minute duration which was dictated by the 75 litre refuelling limit but for much of the race the drivers “doubled-up” to give track time of close to three hours between breaks.

Stuart qualified the car in 13th place from a total starting grid of 60 cars in a time of 2.17.6 which was well ahead of many faster cars and a great achievement in difficult driving conditions. The race started dry which allowed Alan and then Tom to get us off to a good start although we slipped back a few places as we were determined to set a steady early pace and not get swept up in the exuberance which would ultimately lead to many retirements as cars failed to sustain the early tempo. After a few hours of solid driving and working steadily through the field which saw us climb as high as 8th, we settled into a niche around 13th place which we held throughout the night. The car behaved impeccably thanks to the remarkable job by Steve Hay and the engineering team and with only one minor excursion into the gravel and two pit lane speed penalties (you know who you are!) we managed to keep clear of the pits for most of the race – the secret to successful endurance racing.

We eventually finished the race in 11th place after 521 laps and well over 1600 miles and, for most of the engineering team, 24 hours with no sleep. As a first 24 hour event for Vantage Racing as a team (but certainly not for most of the individuals involved) this was a great result and one which sets us up well for more long endurance races in future.
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