Problems Shackle Strata 21 Mosler In Britcar 24 Bid

Strata 21 Mosler, 2011 Britcar 24 Hours (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)
Strata 21 Mosler, 2011 Britcar 24 Hours (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Calum Lockie and the rest of the Strata 21 Mosler squad were knocked out of the Britcar 24 Hours after a cocktail of mechanical problems with their Mosler MT900R.

Lockie and Paul White – who clinched the Class One title of the British Endurance Championship in August – were joined by Spaniards Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano, the pair normally rivals running for a Mosler for their Azteca Motorsport concern.

The foursome came together for testing – Morcillo and Cintrano arriving from Spain in time to run the Silverstone GP circuit in the reliveried Mosler.

However, problems soon started to appear during Thursday's testing, with the engine temperature prompting an engine change before the start of qualifying on Friday.

Though further problems limited their running during the day Morcillo was able to put the car third on the grid of the start of the race, with Lockie taking the first stint of the twice-around-the-clock ordeal.

“The atmosphere on the grid was electric; the ambient temperature was very high and there was a really strong front to the grid,” said Lockie. “It turned out to be one of the quietest race starts I've ever had. I just drove gently on the engine and stroked it around, going clear in P2.”

Initially in second behind the fast starting Aquila CR1 Lockie inherited the race lead when the leader was given a penalty for overtaking under safety car conditions. However, with a 30 second lead the car began to develop a misfire that delayed the beginning of Morcillo's first stint.

From that point the problems mounted up – a fuel pick up problem caused a 50 minute pitstop which knocked the team out of any contention for the win, though to their credit they solved the problem and returned the car to the race, though the problem was forcing them into running shorter stints than planned as the system was only picking up 60 of the 75 litres of fuel in the car's tank.

The next problem struck with Lockie at the wheel when the throttle stuck down the Wellington Straight. “I braked as usual [for Brooklands] and the fronts locked up,” Lockie described. “I went for the ignition switch, but I really thought I was going into the wall very hard. It finally stopped two inches from the barriers!” Coincidentally a similar problem at the same corner would take the other Mosler present out of the race – they were not so lucky and hit the wall, heavily damaging the car.

The car was retrieved from the gravel and the throttle body replaced, but Morcillo soon returned to the puts after a majority of spokes on one of the wheels sheared.

The final – terminal – problem was the return of engine overheating, the team retiring the car at 6am on Sunday after 14 hours of struggles