With the afternoon sun beating down on Silverstone, Topcats Racing's Mosler GT2 has a stranglehold on the Britcar 24 Hour race.
After twenty-one hours and 481 racing laps, the number 3 entry leads Michael McInerney's Eclipse Ferrari 430 by three complete tours of the Northamptonshire circuit.
Nicholas Mee Racing's Aston Martin GT4 rounds out the podium, while also leading the Class 3 field. The Aston held a one-lap advantage over 4th place team, Marcos International – the Lotus Evora squad – completed their twenty-third pitstop 477 laps in, with a healthy lead over the following runners.
For the top four, it had been a fairly uneventful affair, but sadly that was not the case for the sole remaining Class 2 runner, Topcats’ Marcos Mantis GT3 entry.
After running 5th for most of the night and into the morning, the no.27 machine was clipped exiting the pitlane. The collision, ever so slight, was still strong enough to damage the suspension – with drive falling away; the GT3 drew to a halt against the new pitwall, bringing out the safety car.
With the hour complete, the GT3 had fallen to 10th overall, but will fall off the sheets in the next hour.
The Marcos’ misfortune was Kevin Clarke's gain. The number 68 BMW M3 driver rose to 5th place, maintaining a five-lap lead over the 6th placed car – the other Topcats Racing Marcos Mantis, this one running in Class Three.
Paul Winter's Dorset Sports Cars Porsche 996 has been keeping the Mantis GT3 honest. Only a single tour separates the Class 3 competitors, with Mark Griffith's BMW E3 8th ahead of the Motionsport Lotus Elise GT4.
It wasn't all good news for the Class 3 runners. The Sub–Zero Wolf Seat was hit with a stop/go penalty on lap 470 for an incorrect pit stop procedure, dropping the Seat Supercopa to 18th overall and 8th in Class.
2011 Britcar 24 Hours class leaders after hour 20
1 – No.3 Mosler – Beaumont/Fletcher/Draper/Hetherington
2 – No.2 Ferrari – McInerney/McInerney/Keen
3 – No.6 Aquila – Mustill/Berridge/Evans/Martin
1 – No.27 Marcos – Upton/Huggins/Fletcher/Orton
1 – No.49 Aston Martin – Le Blanc/Van Lanschot/De Zille/Nimkoff
2 – No.57 Lotus – Euser/Prewitt/Brody/Freebird/McKinnon
3 – No.68 BMW – Clarke/Gibson/Radcliffe/Hayes
1 – No.89 BMW – Griffiths/Green/Forsbrey/Kirkpatrick
2 – No.88 Honda – Smail/Meins/Lillingston-Price/Harding
3 – No.84 Seat – Breukers/Thijssen/Jensiew/Han
Follow live coverage from The Checkered Flag here: http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2011/10/2011-britcar-24-hours-live-coverage/