Topcats Racing Marcos Mantis (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photogrpahy)

Topcats Racing Marcos Mantis (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Long something that looked doubtful the Aquila CR1's attempt to win the Britcar 24 Hours appears to – realistically – to have come to an end. After pitting with a broken water hose previously the polesitting car has returned to the fray, but currently lies 48 laps off the lead still held by the Eclipse Motorsport Ferrari.

At the start of the hour there was drama from the no.27 Topcats Racing Marcos, though the team returned driver Jamie Orton and 'Big Green' after curing an ignition switch problem. The car hasn't returned to the pits since.

The quick repair, as well as the demise of both the Aquila and MJC over the course of the morning have lifted all three of the Topcats Racing cars into the top ten, the second placed Mosler and now seventh placed no.27 joined by the no.53 Marcos of the quartet of Japanese drivers driving back into the top ten despite an early driveshaft failure

The gap at the top of Class Three – now also the battle for the final spot on the overall podium – has closed up once more, the Lotus Evora now within a lap of the Nicholas Mee Racing Aston Martin. The Paul Winter led Dorse Sports Cars Porsche squad currently occupy third in the class but six laps adrift of the battle for the podium. Kevin Clarke's BMW now lies fourth in class. The Motionsport Lotus Elise – a previous visitor to the top three in class has fallen back, the latest lengthy stop satisfying the team's concerns about the engine mounts.

The Brunswick Automotive BMW continues to lead Class Four with a five lap advantage over the Red Camel SEAT.

2011 Britcar 24 Hours class leaders after hour seventeen

Class One:
1 – No.2 Ferrari – McInerney/McInerney/Keen
2 – No.3 Mosler – Beaumont/Fletcher/Draper/Hetherington
3 – No.6 Aquila – Mustill/Berridge/Evans/Martin

Class Two:
1 – No.27 Marcos – Upton/Huggins/Fletcher/Orton

Class Three:
1 – No.49 Aston Martin – Le Blanc/Van Lanschot/De Zille/Nimkoff
2 – No.57 Lotus – Euser/Prewitt/Brody/Freebird/McKinnon
3 – No.66 Porsche – Winter/Mundy/Morris/Speed/Raven

Class Four:
1 – No.89 BMW – Griffiths/Green/Forsbrey/Kirkpatrick
2 – N0.84 Seat – Breukers/Thijssen/Jensiew/Han
3 – No.88 Honda – Smail/Meins/Lillingston-Price/Harding

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