Team LNT showed great pace at the 2012 Britcar 24 Hours, but reliability issues ruined their chances of winning as they took the Ginetta G55 GT3 deep into uncharted development territory, never having run the car for longer than three hours before taking on Britain’s top 24 hour race.
The team, bringing back together Le Mans class winners Lawrence Tomlinson, Richard Dean and Tom Kimber-Smith lined up on pole position for the race thanks to the fourth member of the team – Mike Simpson.
Simpson also took the opening stint in the car, turning his qualifying topping time into a race lead ahead of the Javier Morcillo piloted Mosler from the Neil Garner Motorsport garage.
Simpson led throughout his first stint, Lawrence Tomlinson picking up the lead at the start of his stint before having to make two unscheduled pitstops, the second due to a high speed tyre blowout that fortunately did little other damage to the rear of the G55.
After problems for their rivals they resumed the lead by driveshaft problems in the very earliest hours of the morning knocked the team out of the lead on a permanent basis, eventual winners MP Motorsport assuming the lead in the Ginetta squad’s absence.
After taking back six laps further problems in the daylight hours of Sunday – including Tomlinson losing a wheel through Farm – culminating in oil pressure concerns that led the team to park the car for the remainder of the race before emerging for the ceremonial final lap crossing the line with Optimum Motorsport’s Ginetta G50 and the G40 of Piranha/Fauldsport.
“Team LNT and the Ginetta G55 GT3 showed stunning pace all weekend at the 24HR, proving the 2012 development has resulted in one of the fastest GT3 cars on the market,” said Simpson, who held the race’s fastest laps for the majority of the duration. “This was the first 24hr test for the car and we are very happy with its achievements. Over the next couple of months we will work hard on the final endurance upgrades for the car and then we will be ready to challenge for all championships next season.”
There were problems for both Optimum and the Piranha/Fauldsport G40, the latter fighting for the lead in Class Four until they were forced to pit to repair the exhaust in order to fall within the strict noise limits for the event limiting them to just sixth in class at the end of the 24 hours.
“The car ran like clockwork,” said Piranha Motorsport boss Simon Mason. “Had the pace and the fuel consumption to do the job in the remainder of the race. Best of all we must have had one of the smallest budgets in the field, the G40 GT5 is a brilliant low cost endurance racer. Maybe next time!”