The team LNT Ginetta LMP3 with Charlie Robertston taking the first stint has led most of the race other than a brief period after its first pit stop. It’s looking very strong, pulling out a seven second lead in just the first lap! In second place is the Peter Cook Audi R8 although just as this report was written it had a scare when it spun off but it recovered to the pits and then regained its second place when the Marco Schlep Porsche was given a stop go penalty for making a short pitstop. The Porsche had taken an early second place as the race got under way with former BTCC driver Glynn Geddie at the wheel. It may drop further down the order as the Tom Onslow-Cole driven Marc Cars Ford Focus V8 is in a strong fourth place.
Topcats racing have got their number fifteen car into fifth but their other Marcos is down in twenty first after having to do a slow lap with a puncture. In doing so they caused the first safety car of the race. Beachdean are continuing their strong weekend with sixth place overall and the class lead. Ross Gunn started in the car Jamie Chadwick then took over for her first ever stint in a 24 hour race. The two are wildly different in height and Jamie explained how they manage it on the grid before the race;
“We have to have a lot of padding, it’ll be interesting on the pit stops!” She laughed. The MJC Ferrari is just behind the Beachdean car and should pass them shortly. It’s not had the pace it appeared to have in qualifying so far but they may be deliberately limiting their pace, aiming for reliability.
The Speedworks Aston Martin is in eighth and spent much of the first two hours battling with the similar Beachdean car. The Dutch Seat Leon cup racer run by St Bas Koeten racing is in ninth with another Dutch run team, Cor Euser racing is in tenth with their Lotus Evora.
Alice Powell took the first stint in her Aston Martin GT4 and pushed the car all the way up to tenth overall before the pit stop. It’s now dropped back down to eighteenth and sixth in class.
Alice was feeling positive on the grid before the start.
“I’m in the car first and I’m going to do a long stint of ninety minutes. I think the plan is for the others to do slightly shorter stints and then I’ll be back in after dark. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The crowd favourite, the Mensley Ford Fiesta has made up a place up to twenty seventh after the Rollcentre BMW hit trouble.
The Rollcentre team are still working on the car but it’s now many laps down. We lost a car from the grid before the start after the John Stack Ferrari Challenge car was withdrawn. It had a major shunt in night qualifying and there was too much damage to fix it for the race.
The sun is just beginning to set and the teams will race into the darkness which will fall just before 9pm. By Marc Waller