Beachdean win the Dunlop 24 hours at Silverstone

The winners beachdean Motorsport (Photo by Marc Waller)Beachdean Motorsport have won the 2015 Dunlop Silverstone 24 hours in their Aston Martin Vantage GT4.

After running strongly all race they moved into an overall podium position early on Sunday which became first at around 9am when the Simpson Motorsport Peter Cook Audi retired.

The team included Jamie Chadwick in her first ever 24 hour race but you wouldn’t have known that from watching her on track as she lapped like someone who had been driving endurance races for years. It was only last season she was racing in Ginetta Juniors and before this race her only GT experience was the first two rounds of the British GT championship at Oulton Park this year. She may well be the youngest ever winner of a 24 hour motor racing event. She’s certainly the youngest female ever to win. She was joined in the car by her British GT team mate Ross Gunn, Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam from the “Senior” team and last but not least Harry Whale. Harry lived up to his name when he did one of his stints in the car during torrential rain when the circuit was heavily waterlogged. But they had zero problems with the car when faster rivals were constantly in the pits and with a team of ace drivers they cruised to a five lap victory in what is a class three car.

In second place was the St Bas Koeten team from Holland who were another in a slower car but who had a faultless run. Karel Gijs Bessem, Harry Hilder and Roger Grouwels took the second place by 5 laps from another class 3 car, the Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora.

Hal Prewitt, Jim Brody, Alistair Mckinnon, Dirk Schulz and Sam Alpass couldn’t catch Beachdean but had a comfortable gap from the third placed class three car.

Beachdean take the flag (Photo by Marc Waller) Second place (Photo by Marc Waller) Third place (Photo by Marc Waller)  Alice and her team cheer their car home (Photo by Marc Waller) The Fiesta finished and took a class second place (Photo by Marc Waller) Ian Cook spent the race painting this picture of Alices car (Photo by Marc Waller) Freddie Hunt (Photo by Marc Waller) Celebrations on the podium (Photo by Marc Waller)

Fourth and the class three podium went to Speedworks in another Aston Martin Vantage V8. They had been in contention for the overall podium before several collisions lost them a lot of time in the pits with damage. One of the Collisions saw John Gilbert excluded from the results although he was still awarded a trophy on the podium with the other three. Tony Hughes, Ollie Hancock and Devon Modell took the car to the finish.

Just missing out on the class three podium was Alice Powell in the works run Aston Martin who took fifth overall. She had been joined by two of the bosses at Aston Martin, Marek Reichman and Andrew Palmer. Palmer dubbed them the 2 bosses, a journalist and a racing driver team as they were also joined by Andrew Frankel. Alice was easily the fastest driver in the team but her speed couldn’t entirely make up for the slower pace of the others and they took fourth in class. Alice was still very happy at finishing what was her first ever 24 hour race;

“I’m really happy to get a finish in my first 24 hour race. I’d like to thank Andrew and all the team for the opportunity. The Aston is a great car and it was great to drive it.”

In sixth was the Saxon Motorsport BMW. It had been rivalling Alice’s Aston earlier until problems saw them sidelined. But such was their lead over the rest of the field that they still took sixth.

In Seventh was the class 1 winner, Radical in their new RXC V8. They had dropped out of contention for the overall win during the night with electrical problems but fought back into the top ten during Sunday. Just before the final hour they broke down again but the car was repaired to take the flag beating rivals Ginetta in their Nissan powered LMP3 Prototype.

The Ginetta, whose line up Included Sir Chris Hoy, had look a certaintly for the win before a fire in the early hours of Sunday put them in the garage for several hours. The team rebuilt the car and it returned to the race towards the end of Sunday morning only to break down once again in the afternoon. The team resurrected the car in the final minute and it raced out without an engine cover to take the flag in thirteenth and second in class.

In ninth was the Red Camel Seat, another Dutch team. They won class 5 and even beat the works Ginetta. It was a great achievement for a team which hadn’t been expecting to finish at all.

The WEC Motorsport Cox Family BMW took the final spot in the top ten as well as third in class four. The car was the slowest in its class when the race began but yet again it proved reliability can be more valuable than speed in a 24 hour race.

Freddie Hunt, whose Simon Green run Jaguar had the saddest story of the weekend. The car had long since stopped but the team fixed the car for him to cross the line, only for the car to stop for good just before the end.

The Fans Favourite Ford Fiesta finished the race in fourteenth, last official finisher beating 14 other cars who had failed to be classified as finishers. It was a great achievement for the team with the lowest budget on the entire grid. The fourteenth place also gave them second place in class five so they could celebrate their finish with a trip to the podium. The other low budget team, the Children’s Heart Foundation Porsche also finished taking twelfth place and fourth in class four.

The Dunlop 24 hours will return next year and it has a contract to run until at least 2019.

Full results are available from TSL Timing. By Marc Waller




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