Britcar 24Hour Race 7-9th September 2007

                           European Endurance & Racing Club - EERC.

The European Endurance & Racing Club headed to Silverstone circuit for the third running of it's 24 Hour race on the weekend of 7th-9th September. The club had put together an impressive timetable of events with 10 support races to the 24 hour race itself. In addition there were air displays on the Saturday and Sunday, one of which afforded onlookers a rare opportunity to see a mock dogfight between a World War 2 Spitfire and a Messerschmitt ME109 as well as a great display by the fantastic P51 Mustang. As if that wasn't enough there were spectacular aerobatic displays, and some terrific formation flying by two Team Guinot biplanes complete with glamorous wing walkers. The entry for the Britcar 24 Hour race was a whopping sixty plus car strong, and included entries from last years winning team Duller Motorsport, a clutch of Mosler GT3's from Rollcentre Racing, Eclipse Motorsport, and Chad Motorsport, and a host of other makes run by the Britcar regulars, including Porsche, BMW, Marcos, Nissan, Honda, Aston Martin, Lotus, Morgan, MG, and TVR. To add some intrigue and spice to the lineup there was also an entry from the BBC Top Gear team, with drivers Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and 'the Stig'. The Top Gear team had entered a BMW 330 Dti Sport running on Biofuel manufactured during the last TV series. The big question though, would anyone be able to stop the superb Duller Motorsport BMW Z4M Coupe, driven this year by veteran and ex F1 star Dieter Quester, assisted by Jamie Campbell-Walter, Dirk Werner and Johannes Stuck, son of the great Hans-Joachim Stuck, from securing a second consecutive victory. It began to look ominous after the pre race warm-up with the Z4M Coupe fastest by over 1.5 seconds from the Mosler of Rollcentre Racing, the BMW M3 E36 of GTS Motorsport, the Mosler of Chad motorsport and the Nissan 350Z of RJN Motorsport. The large grid formed up at 16:30, and was buzzing with activity as the tension built for the start of the big race. The race commenced with a rolling start and as the pace car pulled into the pits it was the Rollcentre Racing Mosler that led the first few laps with the Chad Motorsport Mosler pushing the Duller Z4M Coupe back into 3rd place. That situation was to be short lived however as the Duller car passed both Moslers to hit the front by lap 5. The Duller car was still there at the end of the first hour pursued by three Moslers. Things were fraught at the start for the Top Gear Team whose car was still in pieces with mechanics working frantically as the grid formed up. The car eventually started from the pit-lane with the Stig at the wheel chasing after the rest of the field. By the time darkness had arrived the leading car was still going strong at the front but the pack of Moslers had fallen away with the Rollcentre car in 4th place, the Eclipse car 6th and the Chad car back in 12th. The GTS Motorsport BMW M3 E36 had moved up into second place with the Duller motorsport BMW M3 E46 GTR up to 3rd. The night action and pitstops were spectacular to watch, as the teams began to realise the enormity of the task ahead. As morning approached fog struck and the cars were brought to a halt on the pit-straight with even the non-running cars pushed out there to ensure no work took place, in effect it was like a large park ferme. The race got underway again as the fog lifted and by 9.30 am after 17 hours the Duller cars occupied the first two places, with the Z4 M Coupe having completed 406 laps and the BMW M3 386 laps. The Rollcentre Racing Mosler was third on 378 laps with the Paragon Motorsport Porsche 996 Cup 4th. The class 2 Honda Civic type R of TJH Motorsport was placed an impressive 6th with 369 laps, ahead of the highest placed class 1 car, the Porsche 964 RS of Simply Racing on 367 laps. The highest placed class 4 Diesel car was the VW Golf of TH Motorsport on 350 laps. The leading Z4M coupe was never to be headed from hereon in, but the sister car hit problems with the rear suspension and dropped back to 4th place after a lengthy stop for repairs. At 20 hours the Rollcentre Racing Mosler was up into 2nd albeit 25 laps down on the leader with the class leading GTC car of Paragon Motorsport a further 6 laps back in 3rd. The fantastic Duller Z4M Coupe duly took the flag after a gruelling 24 Hours, winning the race overall and the GT3 class after completing 596 laps, with the Rollcentre Racing Mosler in second place on 567 laps, and the Paragon GTC winning car 3rd on 564 laps. The Duller BMW M3 E46 held on to 4th place, with the Eclipse Mosler improving in the closing stages to finish 5th. TJH Motorsport finished a superb 8th to win class 2 with their Honda Civic Type R, completing 549 laps. Simply Racing took the honours in class 1 with their Porsce 964 RS on 543 laps. Class 3 winners were Pete Daniels Motorsport with their Civic Type R on 500 laps. The highest placed diesel car, the VW Golf of TH Motorsport took class 4 with 13th place and 519 laps. The entertaining Top Gear team bravely battled on to finish the race on 396 laps in 39th place, with Jeremy Clarkson at the wheel. It would be impossible to cover every detail of a race of this nature, but suffice to say the 24 Hour race, and indeed all of the supporting races provided some thrilling action with fantastic overtaking manouvres just about everywhere on the circuit. There are sure to be some fantastic tales of cameraderie, mechanical headaches, fatigue and sheer doggedness to complete the race, that will surface in the aftermath, and be talked about for some time to come, but for now congratulations to all the teams and drivers, and to the EERC for putting on such a great weekends entertainment, and roll on next year.

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Acknowledgements - Many thanks to all at the EERC for pulling this excellent 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 weekend.

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