Britcar Raceday Silverstone March 23rd 2008

                         European Endurance & Racing Club - EERC.

The 2008 Britcar Championship got underway on 23rd March 2008 at a very cold, wintry and windy day at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire. The teams and drivers had to contend not only with each other but also with spells of heavy driving snow, and with it low visibility, far from ideal at racing speeds. This resulted in a number of outings for the safety car and hectic pit activity as the teams changed tyres and drivers. To recap, Britcar for those that haven't read our other articles yet is an Endurance Racing series run mainly in the UK for Sports, GT, Saloon and Prototype classes. The series does also visit the magnificent Spa Franchorchamps circuit in Belgium for a 24 hour race and returns to Silverstone in July and September, the latter for the now well established and growing rapidly in stature Britcar 24 hour race. The Britcar events also enjoy the support of other series including the lively Alfa Romeo series and the Dutch Supercar Challenge. This year will be the fourth running of the Silverstone 24 Hour race which is run on the full Grand Prix circuit and taking place on 19th 21st September. Every Endurance racing enthusiast should attend this event which always produces some exciting racing and strategic battles, as the teams struggle against mechanical adversity and fatigue to reach the chequered flag ahead of their fellow competitors. The Britcar organisers (EERC) put on some great entertainment throughout the event, and last year the event was graced with the presence of the BBC Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and the mysterious Stig. They attracted a huge amount of interest and attention from fans and the media over the whole weekend, and despite facing a desperate battle with time to rebuild their car for the start of the race, they made it and kept their bio fuelled diesel BMW going to reach the finish. Along the way the car had a couple of trips into the gravel and tangled with a Mosler, whether they will be back again this year we'll have to wait and see, whatever the event is sure to be action packed and well worth the visit. Back now to the opening event of the 2008 season which resulted in a win for the invitation entry BMW M3 E6 of GTS Motorsport driven by Harry Handkammer and David Leslie after two hours of battling against the cold, wind and at times heavy snow. The duo had a few scares during the race not least being hit by an E36 and suffering a puncture and broken wheel, the damage was limited as the pit stop window had opened and although the stop was unexpected only a small amount of time was lost. Second at the flag some 15 seconds adrift of the winning BMW was the pole sitting Mosler of Kevin Riley and Ian Flux with Flux at the wheel. The Mosler had made up a lot of ground in the closing stages and with a few more laps would probably have got the better of the GTS Motorsport car. Third place went to the Kinfaun Porsche 997 (Ex Tech 9) which had been prepared for the race over just a few days ahead of the event. The car was driven by Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw with Gaw being overhauled by the Mosler of Flux for second in the closing stages. Gaw was delighted with the result after such a frantic period of preparation. All in all it was good days racing for those that braved the conditions, more detailed race commentary is available courtesy of the EERC's Steve Wood at their website which can be found by clicking the link below. Sadly shortly after the event the tragic news filtered through that David Leslie and Apex Motorsport boss Richard Lloyd along with other members of the Apex team had perished in a light aircraft crash at Farnborough in Kent, both had long been valued and successful members of the motorsport fraternity and will be sadly missed. Full details of the 2008 calendar can be found on the EERC website along with details of the regulations and a host of other information about the series. As previously mentioned a visit to one of the events will not disappoint and the support will be warmly welcomed by the organisers.

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Acknowledgements - Many thanks as ever to all at the EERC for pulling this event together and for allowing access to the pitlane and trackside enclosures, and to all of the competitors for providing, some great racing action throughout the difficult conditions over the course of the day.

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