So as the race heads into the seventh hour, the rain is still falling providing tricky conditions. The Topcat Mosler proved this by visiting the gravel which left him needed a tow out. No damage was done but it needed to visit the pits to clear out the gravel and to refuel. This lost the team a few laps but it is now back out and running at a steady pace.
Warren Gilbert from Topcat Racing told us “I think they [the Jet Alliance Porsche] are going to be a heally tough call at the end of the day.” Before continuing, “We're in the same boat as everybody else. We set ourselves a strategy, we're running a race with three cars, our own three cars and we're looking and focussing on our cars on the track. We set ourselves targets, times and then we're going to stick to that and we're not going to be drawn on what other people are doing. And that's paid dividends so far. Three cars in the race, three cars still running.”
With the Mosler losing time, it was the MJC Ferrari who took the lead after a great drive earlier by Keith Robinson who opted to run on intermediate tyres whilst everyone else was on full wets. This paid off as they are now eight laps ahead of the Topcat Mosler who is second in Class one.
Elsewhere, the Jet Alliance Porsche is putting in lap after lap of good times and are running second overall just a lap down on the MJC Ferrari and slowly catching. They are ten laps ahead of the second in class Marcos Mantis also run by the Topcat team.
Class three leader and now third overall is the Garner Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3 who seem to be relishing the wet weather as they set times as quick as the lead car. Behind on the road and second in Class three is the Intersport BMW M3 E46 with Clarke, Gibson, Jordan and Donaldson taking the wheel. A superb and consistent effort from the team and still going strong.
Another superb team effort comes in the shape of the Ginetta G40 of Team LNT and Ginetta Cars Ltd. Running 13th overall and leading the class 4 contingent ahead of the Mardi Gras Honda Integra six laps further back.
Lawrence Tomlinson, driver of the Ginetta said, “The car's run alright, we had just a minor issue with one of the window wipers, but that's nothing major. It's running pretty well, it's just standard road car spec.” He then continued, “In our class our car's not the fastest in a straight line, it's only about 150 horsepower, but it's a nicely balanced and very light car. It's very easy on its tyres so in the wet, we can go out on wet and not damage or we can stay out longer on wets. We can also go further on slicks so we don't have as many tyre changes.”
Whilst things go well for some teams, others seem to have all the bad luck. During this hour, the stewards called on the team manager of the Birchwood Racing Aston Martin. Firstly, they were given a one lap penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit and half an hour later, given a 2 lap penalty for their pit-stop time being too short. They currently languish down the field in 41st place.
Class Standings After 7 Hours
1 – No. 8 MJC Limited – Ferrari 430 GTC
2 – No. 1 Topcat Racing – Mosler MT900R
3 – No. Rollcentre Racing – Mosler MT900R
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 Motorsport – Porsche 996 GT3
2- No. 39 Intersport – BMW M3 E46
3 – No. 38 AMR Jota Sport – Aston Martin N24
1 – No. 83 Team LNT – Ginetta G40
2 – No. 91 Mardis Gras – Honda Integra
3 – No. 82 Chimp Tune Racing Lotus Elise GT4