The 2015 Dunlop 24 at Silverstone reached the half way mark after turbulent three hours in which four different teams led the race.
The stint began with the Marco Schelp Porsche on the point, but a clutch problem spelled the end of their time in the lead and, ultimately, their race.
The lead then fell to the MJC Ferrari, the past Britcar 24 Hours winners able to build up a lead over the Simpson Motosport Audi. Their advantage over their rivals was enough for them to serve a 30 second penalty after Rory Butcher overtook during one the many Safety Car periods and keep the lead overall.
Their lead buffer, however, could do little to protect them when mechanical issues found them minutes before the clocks struck four and the race tipped over into its second half. A long pitstop dropped them from the lead, but the next time the red and white machine past the pits it did so pushed by marshals down the pitlane rather than by Michelotto horses. The car reached its pitbox, the team quickly start to try and diagnose the problem.
As the Ferrari sat in the pits the Audi took the lead only to have its own long pitstop only moments later.
Into the void it left dived Team LNT and their Ginetta-Nissan LMP3. After navigating their way through technical issues earlier in the night the team had began to work their way back into the top five, their rapid pace seeing them past the Speedworks Motorsport and Beechdean AMR Vantage GT4 battling for the Class 3 lead at the bottom of the top five.
However, as their rivals pitted from ahead of them the mini-prototype was able to retake the lead it made its own during the first hours of the race.
Just outside of the top five – but set to move into it – are the Class 4 leads St Bas Koetan Racing team and their SEAT. They hold an eight lap lead over the JR Motorsport team and their BMW. SICL.com – one of the early front runners in the team were one of the lower profile casualties of the night hour. Broken suspension slowed them, forcing an extra pitstop upon the team, before the stopped around the circuit 20 minutes before the half way mark.
The Red Camel-Jordans.nl diesel SEAT leads Class 5 from tenth overall while the #15 Marcos Mantis from Topcats Racing leads Class 2 by a lap from the #91 MARC Cars Australia Focus. The pair were 13th and 14th overall at the half way mark.
The APO Sport Porsche – a class leader in the early running – went off at Copse, heavily damaging the front end against the tyre wall. But, happily as the first half of the race drew to a close the car was back on track, albeit 50 laps off the leaders.
2015 Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone overall standings after 12 hours:
1 – #12 Team LNT Ginetta – C1 – Lawrence Tomlinson/Chris Hoy/Mike Simpson/Charlie Robertson/Gaetan Paletau
2 – #8 Simpson Motorsport Audi – C1 – Peter Cook/Phillip Hopkins/Franck Pelle/Adam Sharpe/ Stephen Ritchie
3 – #35 Beechdean Motorsport – C3 – Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam/Ross Gunn/Jamie Chadwick/Harry Whale
4 – #41 Speedworks Motorsport– C3 – Anthony Hughes/John Gilbert/Ollie Hancock/Devon Modell
5 – #4 MJC Ferrari – C1 – Witt Gamski/Joe Macari/Rory Butcher/Phil Dryburgh
Other Class leaders
Class 2 – #15 Topcats Racing Marcos – Paul Stephens/Owen O’Neill/Gerry Taylor/Neil Huggins (13th overall)
Class 4 – #50 Bas Koeten Racing – Karel Gils Bessen/roger Grouwels/Harry Hilders (6th overall)
Class 5 – #62 Red Camel – Jordans.nl – Ivo Breukers/Rick Breukers/Sjaco Griffoen (10th overall)