www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk are covering the return of 24 Hour racing to Silverstone with the Dunlop 24. We’ll be keeping you updated throughout the race with updates and we’ll also be following the race with our Live Blog coverage.
This live blog will be updated during the first six hours of the race.
15 minutes away from the green flag to start the Dunlop 24 at Silverstone!!
On his 24 Hour debut Charlie Robertson will start the Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 from pole position.
The sound of engines signifies that the field are pulling away on their formation lap….
Green! Green! Green!!!!!!!
Robertson leads into Copse, Witt Gamski holds second place in the MJC Ferrari.
Robertson leads the opening lap in the Ginetta LMP3. 10 seconds ahead of Glynn Geddie in Marco Schelp’s Porsche.
Gamski has dropped to fourth, the Radical RXC taking up the third position
the #91 MARC Cars Australia leads Class 2 in fifth overall
Robertson’s lead is already up to 19 seconds after two laps with the younger Geddie still in second.
The APO SPort Porsche leads Class 3 and SICL’s SEAT is 14th, leading Class 4
Martyn Smith takes 2nd from Geddie at Village, but the Porsche man fights back down the Wellington Straight.
Witt Gamski has fallen another place in the MJC Racing Ferrari, losing 4th to the Simpson Motorsport run Audi R8 LMS
Freddie Hunt – son of James – bumps Gamski back another place, taking the fantastic looking Jaguar to 5th
Robertson, 35 seconds clear in the lead is already into lapping traffic, starting with Mensley Motorsport’s Ford Fiesta.
Tom Onslow-Cole moves the Class 2 leading MAR Focus into 6th, dropping Gamski another place.
The Rollcentre Racing BMW has ground to a halt out of 4th in Class 3
The Safety Car has been scrambled, Richard Neary abandoning the the Rollcentre Racing BMW at Becketts. We’re 23 minutes into the race.
This interruption will go some way to delete Charlie Robertson’s lead of nearly a minute.
The Safety Car has brought the first teams into the pits, the Russia by Barwell MARC Focus and the #17 Topcats Racing Marcos the first into the lane.
Martyn Smith has also pitted, bringing the works Radical RXC in from third overall.
After five minutes of yellow ruled racing we’re back to racing!
The #17 Topcats Marcos Mantis – started by Pat Gormley had a puncture which forced it to pit under the safety car.
The lead has shrunk to back to ‘just’ 13 seconds with Glynn Geddie holding Adam Sharpe’s Audi at bay for 2nd place
The Radical – post pitstop is in fourth, 1:37 behind Sharpe in third
Adam Sharpe is not letting the second placed Porsche get away. He’s just 3.1 seconds behind.
Tom Onslow-Cole has moved up to fifth in the #91 MARC Focus, pushing Freddie Hunt in the Jag down to 6th.
The APO Sport POrsche holds the C3 lead, the SICL.com SEAT heads C4 and WEC Motorsport’s #66 tops C5
Freddie Hunt has pitted the Jaguar XKR-S
Freddie is out of the car, struggling with the heat in the car. He pitted early.
The Jaguar is back out with Nigel Rata at the wheel, but the problem with heat has to be an early worry.
JR Motorsport become the first team to be penalized, given a 1 minute stop-go for failing to meet the minimum pitstop time. For the top teams that sort of error could be crucial.
The Glynn Geddie/Adam Sharpe battle continues over second – 4 tenths between them after 50 minutes
Our man in the pitlane tells us the Rollcentre Racing BMW stopped earlier due to an oil pressure problem. The team are working on the car as I type.
After his early drop down the order Witt Gamski sits 7th in the MJC Ferrari
Adam Sharpe takes the position!!! The Audi is up to 2nd.
And it should be in the lead as the Ginetta LMP3 pits for the first time in the race.
The Team LNT Ginetta – now with Sir Chris Hoy at the wheel has dropped to 4th, behind the lead battle and the Radical
We’re through the first hour of the race – and there’s only a split second between the two leaders.
And with that Glynn Geddie takes the lead from Sharpe, before Sharpe retakes the lead. 23 more hours of this please!!
Race leaders in the pits, it’s #14 Porsche from #8 Audi.
Team Russia by Barwell Motorsport have brought their MARC Ford Focus V8 to the pit lane too but the battle at the front is where we are focused now.
And Speedworks Motorsport bring their Aston Martin to the pits for service as the #10 Radical Motorsport RXC V8 takes the lead. The Ginetta follows them back into second place.
The Audi has the jump on the Porsche in the pits, Simpson Motorsport adopt the final podium spot, ahead of the erstwhile race leader.
Also in the pits is the #4 Ferrari 430 of Witt Gamski and the MARC Cars Australia run Ford.
So as the top three sort themselves out after the first round of pit stops it is the Radical of Martyn Smith who leads the Team LNT Ginetta by 21.415 seconds and Peter Cook’s Simpson Motorsport Audi.
Beechdean and the little Chevron of Corum Motorsport now take their turns in the pits, as has the fifth placed Topcats Racing Marcos #17.
Beechdean have manged to get ahead of their Speedworks Motorsport brand rivals during the pit stops. In the Aston battle it is now the Beechdean car ahead of the Aston Martin Lagonda outfit, with Speedworks a slightly distant third.
The Radical is in trouble. Its pulled off at Maggotts.
A quick restart of the system appears to have cured the problem and is back underway.
The Radical pits. It has to be unscheduled.
Team LNT retake the lead. Sir Chris Hoy is building in confidence and the lap times are falling.
Normality returns in class 3 where the Aston order is now Beechdean in 11th, Speedworks in 13th and the Aston Martin Lagonda machine in a respectable 18th. The APO Motorsport Porsche leads the class but is now in the pits.
The Radical is back out after an electrical gremlin dropped the car into a limp home mode. It is now in third and getting back up to speed.
Correct that, the Marco Schelp entered Porsche is in third, with the RXC in foruth.
The APO Sport Porsche has dropped to 13th through the stops and we now have Cor Euser’s Marcos Racing International Lotus in the lead of class 3.
It’s settled down a bit now and the closest battle on track is between the class 3 Speedworks Aston and the class 4 Bas Koeten Racing SEAT. The Leon is ahead but by only 0.2 seconds.
Ok, Leon dispatched, its is now a straight fight between the two Aston Martins for second in class. Cor Euser’s Evora continues to lead.
The Bas Koeten SEAT pits from second in the class 4 battle. The SICL.com machine of Martin Byford is a runaway class leader in sixth overall.
Byford brings it to the pits to hand over to Ashley Woodman. That will give Nick Barrow’s BMW 135d a shot at the lead.
The team managers of both the MJC Ferrari (8th) and Simpson Motorsport Audi (2nd) are being called to race control…
Witt Gamski is being caught by Ross Gunn in the Beechdean Aston Martin. Yes, GT4 car catching GT2.
The Aston Martin Lagonda car has a bit of a spin by the Wing, just as the class leading Lotus Evora makes its maiden pit stop. Thats one hour and fifty minutes on a single fill!
Mike Moss’s BMW comes to pit lane leaving Richard Corbett’s Saxon Motorsport BMW 135d as the only car in the top eighteen left to pit.
There are yellow flags at Vale and at the Maggotts and Becketts complex.
The factory Aston Martin is dropping down the order so we assume that Aston designer Marek Reichman is responsible for at least one set of flags.
The Saxon car now comes to pit lane so only the WEC Motorsport BMW, Red Camel SEAT and the big Diesel Carvell Jaguar are left to pit.
And that diesel Jaguar is now having its team manager called to race control.
Ok, the Diesel Jaguar hasn’t pitted yet because it’s stopped at Maggotts. The Vale yellows were for the #17 Topcats Marcos.
The WEC Motorsport SEAT continues to reside in the pits, a 14 minute in lap isn’t a good sign. Simon Green’s Jaguar and the stricken Rollcentre BMW round out the list of struggling efforts at the moment.
Meanwhile the Radical RXC continues to hunt down the podium spots. Its recovery from an unplanned visit to the pits now has it in fourth place and 20 seconds off the Marco Schelp Porsche.
The #8 Audi is being reported as off the track an in the gravel. Ok its out of the kitty litter and into the pits.
The WEC BMW is in the box too getting service. Thats over two hours without a fill on a BMW M3!
The #17 Topcats Marcos is spinning again, this time on the extensive run off at Abbey.
Ok. Thats the Radical RXC up into third place and hassling the #14 Porsche.
The MARC Cars Australia Ford and the #17 Topcats Marcos are now back for their second and third pit stops respectively. Meanwhile we are still waiting to see the #62 Red Camel SEAT and the #43 Carvell Jaguar at least once.
News from the pit lane, the Audi was due a stop anyway so the visit to the apron was planned.
Race leader in the pits. That the Team LNT machine.
It would also appear that the Radical is broken again.
The Radical is in the pits with much team member power pushing it nose into the garage.
Lets recap on class battles too. The lead battle is only five seconds between Marco Schelp’s Porsche and the LNT Ginetta. In class 3, which comes next it is the Beechdean car from Speedworks Aston. Class 2 is lead by the MARC Cars Australia ford from Topcats #15 machine.
Class 4 is headed by the Bas Koeten Racing SEAT from the identically equipped SICL.com team. There is only two 2 seconds margin here. Class 5 is Red Camel all the way, who still owe us a stop.
#14, the third placed Porsche of Marco Schelp has just been given a 21 second stop and hold for a short pit stop.
WEC Motorsport’s #66 SEAT will return to the fray eventually by the way. The team are carrying out a gearbox change as we speak.
The Mensley Fiesta has also been pinged for a short stop. They get a 26 second stop and hold.
Ok, the MJC Ferrari must have taken on Phil Dryburgh by now because it is flying up the order. Now hassling the #35 Beechdean AMR machine.
Aston Martin’s Aston Martin come in to the pits to hand over from Marek Richman to Andrew Frankel. The car is fifth in class and secure in that spot after it’s earlier excitement.
Ok the #14 has taken a second penalty, for speeding in the pit lane during the last one. The #61 BMW of JR Motorsport is getting attention to the back of the car meanwhile.
The #15 Topcats Marcos and the #38 Chevron of Corum Motorsport have both pitted for the second time while we are still waiting for the class leading class 5 Red Camel – Jordan.nl machine to take its first service.
And the JR Motorsports team boss is called to make the journey to the race director.
The not very slow Bas Koeten Racing SEAT sets its fastest lap of the race as it chases down the class 3 Speedworks Aston Martin.
Hunting for a battle for position to report and struggling to find it. The #17 Topcats Marcos is catching the class 5 Red Camel SEAT, we don’t expect it to fight too hard.
Mensley Motorsport have just called in for their SIXTH tour through pit lane. Meanwhile the Corum Motorsport Chevron and Bas Koeten SEAT team managers are being called to the race director.
And Finally the Red Camel fuel refinery comes to the pits!
OK, so just over three hours in and the Team LNT Ginetta has a 2 lap lead, due to a mix of speed and penalties for their rivals
Now the LMP3 car pit for a third time, matching the number of pit visits by the Audi and Porsche
With Mike Simpson at the wheel the Ginetta goes back into the race – still with a comfortable lead.
The #53 Moss Motorsport has been black flagged for “excessive noise”. Strange its taken three hours for it to get louder.
A Topcats Marcos is in the pits with a pucntyre – this time it’s the #15.
Mike Moss’ BMW – the #53 – has been excluded for excessive noise.
The Marco Schelp Porsche is into the pit and it’s Schelp himself taking over the #14 car
Schelp almost makes a move to leave the pits, but stops just in time to have the team tighten one of the wheels – another penalty – or worse narrowly avoided.
Mike Simpson’s lap times are right up with those Charlie Robertson set in the first hour – He’s running 2:05s and 2:07s to the early 2:03 – and Simpson has more traffic to deal with.
The race for third overall is among the closest on the track – 19 seconds lay between Marco Schelp and Rory Butcher, now in the MJC Ferrari
The #92 Barwell MARC Focus has had a brief off track moment – it’s back on the track now though.
The little Mensley Motorsport Ford Fiesta is crawling – it’s just done a 15 minute lap and tracking shows it going no faster on this lap.
The Marco Schelp Porsche – third overall – is reportedly nursing a gearbox problem. The team don’t seem to be that concerned though.
Team LNT and the Simpson Motorsport Audi are now split by the length of the Hanger Straight as Mike Simpson (confusingly driving for Team LNT) aims to put the R8 LMS a third lap down.
The Audi helps the Ginetta to get that third lap, coming into the pits.
Close battles are few and far between at the moment, but the SICL SEAT is gaining on the Saxon BMW for second in Class 4. Just 6s between them.
Make that three seconds – they’re fighting over 11th overall
The MJC Ferrari has just done it’s fastest lap of the race – a 2:08.681, making it the second fastest car of the race so far.
The Ferrari has dropped to fifth after making another pitstop, but that time makes us think it’s Rory Butcher at the wheel
The Team LNT Ginetta is in from the lead – that should drop the lead back to ‘just’ three laps
Another stonking lap from the Ferrari man – a 2:06!!!
The Radical RXC comes into the pits from seventh as it tries to haul itself back into the lead group.
The Ginetta’s lead is back down to two laps over the Audi after their pitstop.
And the MJC Ferrari’s charge has also been halted. They have been given a 21 second stop-go penalty for speeding in pitlane.
Marco Schelp pits his Porsche from third
The Beechdean AMR Vantage GT4 is also in the pits from 4th overall and the Class 3 lead
The SICL.com SEAT breaks off hostilities with the Saxon Beamer by coming into the pits
It has just started to rain at Silverstone!
The MJC Ferrari is up to third – despite the penalty – after the stops of the Schelp Porsche and Beechdean Aston
MJC are in and are putting on wet tyre!!!
Lap times have gone up be about 20 seconds – the rain is here, it would seem
The Schelp Porsche is back in
They too are electing for wet tyres
Simpson Motorsport call their Audi in for wets also, but the Ginetta LMP3 is still out on track
And their team manager has been summoned to race control
There are 3 cars out on track – the rest are in the pits getting wet tyres
Now the Team LNT Ginetta is in.
Wet tyres or not the conditions are still catching people out – the Aston Martin Lagonda Vantage has been off.
The Ginetta is back in!!!
Safety Car is out – simply for the rain, or has something gone bump in the night
Reports of a car off at Copse.
Behind the safety car the Team LNT Ginetta still leads by two laps from the Audi, MJC Ferrari third and Marco Schelp’s Porsche 4th
The Ginetta is back in – we think this is to top up the fuel tank.
Among the work done on the Ginetta was that the windscreen had misted up – that could be a problem if it carries on racing
The Safety Car is still out. With the extra stops the Ginetta’s lead is down to a single lap.
It might have stopped raining. Whisper it quietly.
It has not stopped raining. I can personally confirm.
Safety car still out. Nothing changing here.
The safety car is coming in this lap and…..it’s still raining
The Witt Gamski entered Ferrari has just been in the pits from third
Green flag is out – and the voyage into the unknown begins
The Audi pits from second just as the Safety Car comes in
And the safety car has come back out again.
After a quick repair the Audi is back into the race – still showing in second
The Ginetta is in the pits again,
The safety car is coming in at the end of this lap.
And we are green.
The Ginetta’s problem is that the screen is misting up. The team have added spacers under the bottom of the screen to try and increase the airflow over the inside.
After all of that Team LNT are leading by a lap and a half. But how well can Mike Simpson see in the LMP3?
And lap times – the 2:08s of earlier have been replaced by 2:30s and 2:40s
The Saxon Motorsport BMW is in the pits after a five minute lap – electrical problems suspected
That’s it for the first six hours of the Dunlop 24 and the first part of our live blog. Come here for part two: https://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2015/04/2015-dunlop-24-silverstone-live-blog-part-ii/