2015 Dunlop 24 Preview: Big Power in Class 2


Continuing our look ahead to this weekend’s Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone, we take a look at class 2. Six cars, mainly older GT3 cars and GT4 machines, are entered with a couple of silhouette racers for good measure.

There are big names in Class 2 as in the premiere class we previewed on Monday. The biggest is better known for Blancpain Endurance Series and Avon Tyres British GT Championship action, Team Russia by Barwell Motorsport. The Barwell team are leaving their BMWs in the race shop for the weekend and instead racing a MARC Ford Focus V8. Based loosely on the saloon version of the global Ford Focus (not sold in the UK) a factory run example won its class on the Mountain at Bathurst in January.

Leo Machitski, Timur Sardarov, James Kaye and Mark Lemmer will drive the Barwell machine, racing against a car entered by the factory. The Marc Cars Australia car is headlined by the Strata 21 pairing of Tom Onslow-Cole and Paul White who will be joined by the aussie racer Ben Gersekowski. Marc Cars are a top class team, but they are busy. They have customers running cars at the Creventic run 12 Hours of Mugello on the same weekend.

Marcus Fothergill and Dave Benett are well known Britcar names, as is the Porsche 996 Cup car which will carry them and two as yet unconfirmed drivers to a potential class win. John Stack brings Italian flair to the class with a Ferrari 430 Challenge but hasn’t confirmed any co-drivers yet.

Rounding out the class are a pair of Britcar legends. Run by Topcats Racing, the Marcos Mantis is a proper British muscle car. They are very quick for their class and sound fantastic but are notoriously fragile and their Britcar history suggests they are rather accident prone. That means that Paul Stephens, Gerry Taylor, Owen O’Neal and Neil Huggins in the #15 and Nigel Pike, Paul Black and Joachim Bolting in the #17 could be in for a character building weekend. If they go well though, either car could be a contender for the podium come the end of the race.

A betting man would be silly to count out either MARC Focus for the final win. MARC are proven with the car and Barwell are a very professional outfit. The right circumstances could help Topcats though and the Marcos could prove that age is no guarantee of senility.