Nigel Mustill's Aquila CR1 maintained his three-lap lead come six hours of the Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone, although they did so with some controversy.
As the Aquila cycled around, lead pilot John Martin was thought to have exceeded the three-hour driving limit; however the team argued otherwise.
Mustill's entry headed the no.27 Topcats Racing Marcos Mantis machine in second spot, while respective third and fourth place runners Michael McInerney Eclipse Motorsports Ferrari and Topcats Racing Mosler GT2 lagged a short distance behind.
“Not too bad,” an understated Martin descibed his stint. “We pushed on as much as we could obviously we pushed a little bit more until we got to the lead then the whole last stint was pretty much cruise, try and save as much fuel and car as possible, so try not to use the brakes. At first it's a bit hard to drive – as a driving style I've never really had to do that but then you try to challenge yourself. 'Can I get through Maggotts and Becketts with no brakes?' Yes, tick. 'How early can I lift off the throttle and still do a nine or a ten. Little games to keep yourself awake. Plus of course the traffic, it's like driving around the M25. You're passing Civics and they're flat out so you've got to give them a bit of room.”
Indeed the lead Topcats machine garnered the runner-up position while others around him pitted repeatedly. It was a strategy that also kept the Topcats machine top of Class Two.
By the 138th lap, the Marcos Mantis machine had stopped four times, compared to the nine and eight by the McInerney and Mosler cars.
Nicholas Mee Racing‘s Aston Martin assumed 5th place and the top of Class 3 at the race's quarter distance ahead of Marcos Racing Lotus Evora, with Intersport's BMW M3 a lap adrift.
Motionsport maintained 8th position in their Lotus Elise GT4. A solid gap keeps the Lotus one lap of Paul Winter's Dorset Sports Cars Porsche 996 GT3 entry in 9th, although MJC's Ferrari 430 (10th) may soon deprive the Porsche of his position.
The safety car emerged early in the hour. Dropped oil caused the number no.85 Daniels Motorsports Honda Civic to go off, only to be collected moments later by the no.47 Jemco Racing Ginetta.
2011 Britcar 24 Hours class leaders after hour six
1 – No.6 Aquila – Mustill/Berridge/Evans/Martin
2 – No.2 Ferrari – McInerney/McInerney/Keen
3 – No.3 Mosler – Beaumont/Fletcher/Draper/Hetherington
1 – No.27 Marcos – Upton/Huggins/Fletcher/Orton
2 – No.5 Porsche – Konopka/O'Donnell/Myszkowski/Lewandowski/Edwards
3 – No.30 Ginetta – Tomlinson/Short/Turkington/Simpson/Nicoll-Jones
1 – No.57 Lotus – Euser/Prewitt/Briody/Freebird/McKinnon
2 – No.49 Aston Martin – Le Blanc/van Lanschot/De Zille/Nimkoff
3 – No.66 Porsche – Winter/Mundy/Morris/Speed/Raven
1 – No.83 Lotus – Chamberlain/Randeria/Fillingham/Webb
2 – No.88 Honda – Smail/Meins/Lillingston-Price/Harding
3 – No.89 BMW – Griffiths/Green/Forsbrey/Kirkpatrick