Perhaps fittingly almost the exact half way point of the Britcar 24 Hours could prove the pivotal point that decides the winner of the event a one lap penalty coming between what was building up to be tactical fight into the dawn.
The Jet Alliance Porsche and MJC Limited Ferrari had battled back and forth, exchanging lap times as the Porsche's lead held relatively steady at 30 seconds. It was battle against the conditions as much as each other – the John Gaw in the Ferrari on wets and Marco Seefried in the Porsche on Intermediates, as both headed towards their own scheduled pitstops.
It was the Porsche that stopped first – Seefried handing over to Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer as the car took on fuel and another set of intermediate tyres. The stop, obviously handed the lead to the Ferrari as John Gaw confounded many to remain on track, trying to make up time. However, what could have been a tactical master stroke also ended in disaster as the safety car was scrambled for the Eclipse Motorsport Mosler – stranded at the bottom of the circuit.
Bunching up behind the safety the Ferrari and Porsche were reunited – The Ferrari's lead a lap, spare for a few car lengths that separated the pair. Rules state that only 25 litres of fuel can be added under safety car conditions and so it was hardly surprising that the Ferrari pitted as soon as the safety car came in. The stop returned the race to the pre-stop status quo of a half minute, before the team manager of the Ferrari was first summoned to race control then the car slapped with a one lap penalty for speeding in the pit lane, decisively splitting the lead fight.
Another decisive split happened in the class 2. Trying to make up ground the Topcat Racing Marcos had fought to inside the top ten before having to stop, the team diagnosing a differential problem and a repair that would drop the car out of the top 20.
The top three in Class three remained the same, though the KG Racing BMW was being increasingly closed on by the similar all-German Tischner Motorsport car which had made it's own way into the top ten ahead of the first of the two Welch Motorsport SEATs that sandwiched the LNT Ginetta – the Production Class leader in ninth place overall.
A penalty also struck another of Production Class runners that made steady progress through the field. The Ford Escort Cosworth Turbo – a former WRC car that spent 11 years in a barn before being returned to health – shared by Dave, Jason and Michael Cox had made its way to the fringe of the top 20 overall before they, like the Ferrari, were hit with a one lap penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
1 No.8 MJC Limited – Ferrari 430 GTC
2 No.1 Topcat Racing – Mosler MT900R GT2
3 No.4 Strata 21 – Mosler MT900R GT2
1 No.22 Jet Alliance – Porsche 997
2 No.21 Topcat Racing – Marcos Mantis GT3
3 No.19 Chesterton Commercial Holdings – Marcos Mantis GT3
1 No.42 Neil Garner Racing – Porsche 996 GT3 Cup
2 No.38 AMR Jota Sport – Aston Martin N24 GT4
3 No.32 KG Racing – BMW M3 E46
1 No.83 Team LNT – Ginetta G40
2 No.91 Mardi Gras Motorsport – Honda Integra
3 No.86 Mazda Motors UK – Mazda MX5