Already victorious after the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Nicholas Mee Racing recorded a stunning second overall – and first in class – at the Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone.
The team comprised of regular drivers Dan de Zille, Karsten le Blanc, Christiaen van Lanschot and American Robert Nimkoff – who had brought an Aston Martin V8 Vantage from NMR for racing in the US earlier this year. Together with the team they lined up as one of 22 entries in Class Three for the 24 Hours, facing competition from teams running Ginettas, BMWs, SEATs and Lotuses.
De Zille qualified the TalentWorks International sponsored car 20th overall in the 50+ car field after the squad opted for caution during the qualifying session by ending their participation early, taking the extra time to prepare their car for the race ahead.
Dutchman Le Blanc took their first two hour double stint, with the team's plan to pit roughly every hour for fuel, with a driver and tyre change initially every other pit call.
With this strategy seeing them into the lead during the opening hours a battle with the Marcos Racing International run Lotus Evora soon developed while both cars moved up the order as other teams struggled in the torturous running into Saturday.
De Zille – who has juggled a British Formula Ford campaign with his Aston Martin commitments this season – was the final driver in the NMR rotation, taking the car over for a two-hour, 53-minute stint – just seven minutes inside the maximum single stint duration.
Throughout the race the car performed flawlessly, the only longer than normal pitstop being for brake pad change. In total the team completed 19 pitstops, ten of which included tyre changes.
That consistency put the Aston Martin ahead of the Lotus by a lap at the checkered flag, after the veteran sportscar racing team had twice suffered delays – once chasing a problem, once for a brief stop-go penalty.
“Heroes all!” exclaimed team principal Nicholas Mee. “In 24 hours of racing we had no driver errors, no car failings, no time penalties, no damage and a dream result, all of which comes on top of five race wins and victory in this year's Aston Martin Challenge series! I'm immensely proud and appreciative of the whole team's achievements. Big thanks to our drivers, sponsors, pit-crew and supporters who have all helped make a great racing season even greater.”