The seventh to ninth hours of the 2015 Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone was a tale of hard work and disappointment for many. The most disappointed of all would be the Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan LMP3, whose race fell apart with electrical problems. Team Russia by Barwell Motorsport were also hard at work repairing the damage the car sustained late in the last three hours.
The hour started with an unscheduled stop for the car which had led the race almost constantly from the off. Soon after the Ginetta took to pit lane for an oil change the Simpson Motorsport Audi claimed the lead and prompted a proper battle for supremacy. The MJC Ferrari 430 and the Marco Schelp Porsche 997 GT3 Cup shared the lead with the Audi for much of the three hours, the Ginetta making rare appearances in the top three.
Class 2 was no bed of roses either as the MARC Cars Australia team helped their customers and garage mates Barwell with their repair job. Then the MARC run machine started to show electrical gremlins blamed mainly on the fine British weather. Apparently an Aussie built car struggles with UK rain. That really was the best news in the class which appears to be a class no-one wants to win. The class leader sat in fifteenth place overall at the start of hour ten.
So to class three where it was very good news indeed. The latest issue for the LNT prototype allowed both the class leader and second place to find the top five. Andrew Howard‘s Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin headed the identically equipped Speedworks Motorsport outfit. The struggling #12 entry and the impressive class 4 leader buffered the two Gaydon racers from the Porsche 911 of APO Sport.
Class 4 was headed by the #50 Bas Koeten Racing SEAT at the top of the ninth hour. The dutch racers went from strength to strength with their trio of experienced 24 hour racers, Karel Gijs Bessem, Harry Hilders and Roger Grouwels. The similar SICL.com car struggled in the three hours to 0100, falling from a competitive run at the top of the class to a distant fifth, in 16th place overall. Instead the #61 JR Motorsport car stepped up to take second place but had no answer to the pace of the latest specification SEAT. The WEC Motorsport BMW M3 continued its slow and steady rise up the field to third in class.
The big surprise continued to be the Red Camel – Jordans.nl SEAT Leon diesel which did its work quietly, without fanfare and to great effect. While the Mensley Motorsport Fiesta searched the paddock for a donor car to replace a defective hub mounting, the Leon moved into 12th overall, a lap ahead of the WEC Motorsport BMW.
2015 Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone overall standings after 9 hours:
1 – #14 Marco Schelp Porsche – C1 – Marco Schelp/Michael Tischner/Willie Moore/Glynn Geddie/Jim Geddie
2 – #8 Simpson Motorsport Audi – C1 – Peter Cook/Phillip Hopkins/Franck Pelle/Adam Sharpe/ Stephen Ritchie
3 – #4 MJC Ferrari – C1 – Witt Gamski/Joe Macari/Rory Butcher/Phil Dryburgh
4 – #35 Beechdean Motorsport – C3 – Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam/Ross Gunn/Jamie Chadwick/Harry Webb
5 – #41 Speedworks Motorsport– C3 – Anthony Hughes/John Gilbert/Ollie Hancock/Devon Modell
Other Class leaders
Class 3 – #91 MARC Cars Australia Ford – C2 – Tom Onslow-Cole/Ben Gersekowski/Paul White/Gary Jacobsen (15th overall)
Class 4 – #50 Bas Koeten Racing – Karel Gils Bessen/roger Grouwels/Harry Hilders (7th overall)
Class 5 – #62 Red Camel – Jordans.nl – Ivo Breukers/Rick Breukers/Sjaco Griffoen (12th overall)