The penultimate hour of the 2012 Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone continued under heavy downpours from the heavens, with all remaining cars treading their way carefully around the standing water that has been on the track for about the last two hours.
#28 MP Motorsport was still leading the way by 4 laps, ahead of the MB Racing #16 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which had to make an unscheduled pit stop just ten minutes from the end of the hour, due to the LED light surrounding the right window being found to trail behind the car. MB Racing were looking more than likely able to secure a Class 1 win, but the overall victory was slipping from their grasp, as time counted down to the checkered flag. MP Motorsport had a slight scare as their team manager was called to go to Race Control.
Neil Garner Motorsport’s #17 Mosler was back on track after the left rear wheel issue, but would end up being pushed into the garage just before the end of the hour, which was a right rear driveshaft concern, as repairs got underway to get the car back on track, as the hour passed.
The Intersport Racing team had dropped out of the top three in Class 3, after repairs kept the vehicle off track, as the front end was damaged, with broken front suspension needing repairing too. Perfection Racing were still leading Class 3 by 10 laps from second placed MMC Motorsport in their E46 M3 CSL, with the #52 Corum Sport Chevron GR8 slotting into third in class. In the overall standings, the three cars were placed 3rd, 5th and 8th.
MP Motorsport’s other rivals were nowhere in comparison to the M3, which had led the race from 1am on Sunday, and showed that you don’t necessarily need the fastest car to make best use of your strategy. Optimum Motorsport’s Ginetta G50 had suffered setback after setback throughout the race, but was running in 17th place. Topcats Tigers, who had been leading the class until their engine change and accident with Mission Motorsport plummeted them to 28th overall and 4th in class, with GT Classics’ Porsche 996 holding steady at 23rd overall, but 3rd in Class 3.
Class 4 saw no real change, with Red Camel.nl’s Seat leading from the Brunswick Automotive M3, with Team Toyota GB’s #86 GT86 had not moved from its 3rd place in its class, but all cars were in the top ten, placing 4th, 6th and 9th. It has been a very credible effort from the Japanese manufacturer-backed team for the new GT86 in a 24-hour race situation. But it would possibly change, as the Red Camel.nl Seat pitted, and then was promptly rolled back into the garage at the same time as the Mosler as the hour came to its conclusion.
This was as well as the Mission Motorsport team still competing, that even with their off track excursions during the race, they have been inspired to carry on racing throughout the whole event, currently running in 18th place, as well as 9th in Class 4.
With the last hour yet to run, and with 541 laps completed, the drivers, teams and cars were in the home stretch, as the timer counts down to 24 hours of racing in varied and challenging circumstances on a historic and revered motorsport landmark.
2012 Britcar 24 Hours Standings After 23 Hours:
1 – MB Racing – West/Wall/Brown/Cripps
2 – Neil Garner Motorsport – White/Cintrano/Morcillo/Sharpe
3 – Team LNT – Tomlinson/Kimber-Smith/Dean/Simpson
1 – MP Motorsport – Poole/Symons/Bardwell/Abra
2 – Optimum Motorsport – Osborne/Mowle/Fletcher/Rattenbury
3 – GT Classic – Fairbairn/Littlejohn/McLean
1 – Perfection Racing – Spires/Jensen/Johanson/Holmgaard/Klosterman
2 – MMC Motorsport – Spencer/Cassar/Lewis/Pettit
3 – Corum Sport – Anley/Ellis/Hyman/Joseph
1 – Red Camel.nl – Breukers/Thijssen/de Heus
2 – Brunswick Automotive – Griffiths/Green/Kirkpatrick/Forsbrey
3 – Team Toyota GB – Hodgetts/Hodgetts/Primrose/Meaden