As the fourth hour of the race drew to a close, the rain continued to beat down on the Silverstone GP circuit. With over 50 of the competitors still circling, drivers have adjusted well to the tricky conditions.
Drama filled the fifth hour when the lead car, the number three Aquilla CTR1 came in for an unplanned pitstop. Initial reports were of failing rear lights, but after half an hour this clearly wasn't just the problem. Former BTCC star, Kelvin Burt added, “It's the rear suspension. The top cross member appears to be cracked – we're going to be a good twenty minutes.” Time marched on and at the close of the hour, the car was still in the pits.
Taking over the lead was the number one, Topcat Mosler on full wets, with Keith Robinson in the Ferrari 430 GTC in hot pursuit, on intermediates. They were soon joined by none other than the Rollcentre Mosler of Andy Neate. What followed was a push and pull, with both Mosler's trading places for the lead. All the time, the Ferrari was there stalking.
Over in class two the Jet Alliance Porsche was flying. He was followed by the Owen O'Neill Marcos Mantis. A special mention should go out to the Tomcat Marcos team; throughout the wet weather they were consistently setting fast times – no mean feat in the Mantis!
Elsewhere in class three, the Intersport BMW of Wayne Gibson was keeping the class one and two cars honest. The E46 was terrorising all ahead of it and pulling away from the number 32 BMW of Gino Ussi. Archie Hamilton excelled on intermediate tyres, handling the Seat Leon with supreme confidence. He pitted at the end of the fifth hour for full wets and immediately took the challenge to the JOTA Aston Martin Vantage of Chris Porritt.
We caught up with JOTA's Sam Hancock who was in relaxed mood. He said, “I've never raced in this event before, but I look around and there is risk everywhere. Mainly, inexperienced drivers in very fast cars.” He continued, “I had a Mosler behind me and I wasn't sure whether I should let him past and suffer for the rest of my stint, or keep him behind me and live with the risk…” In the end, Sam decided to let the Mosler past, a wise decision as it turns out!
By now, Class Four was being dominated by the Ginetta G40 of Team LNT. By the end of the stint LNT had a lead of over 5 laps from Chris Hyman in the Honda Integra.
Class Standings After Five Hours
1 – No.6 Rollcentre Racing – Mosler GT Cup
2 – No.8 MJC Limited – Ferrari 430 GTC
3 – No.1 Topcat Racing – Mosler MT900
1 – No.22 Jet Alliance – Porsche 997
2 – No.21 Topcat Racing – Marcos Mantis GT3
3 – No.19 Chesterton Commerical Holdings – Marcos Mantis GT3
1 – No.39 Intersport – BMW M3 E46
2 – No.42 Neil Garner Motorsport – Porsche 996 GT3 Cup
3 – No.52 Tom Black Racing – Aston Martin N24 GT4