Dunlop 24 hours Lunchtime update

Beechdean lead (photo by Marc Waller)With less than four hours to go, things have dramatically changed once again in the Dunlop 24 hours.

The Simpson Motorsport Audi that had been leading by a lap suffered alternator failure and had to retire. This put the incredible Beachdean Aston Martin team into the overall lead in their GT4 car. The team of Jamie Chadwick, Ross Gunn, Jonny Adam, Andrew Howard and Harry Whale have run quickly and consistently throughout and now lead by 6 laps.

The St Bas Koeten Racing Seat is second and leads it’s class. The team only has three drivers Karel Gijs Bessem, Harry Hilders and Roger Grouwels, so their drivers have to do several more stints than cars with four or five drivers. Third overall is the Cor Euser Lotus. They have five drivers; Hal Prewitt, Jim Brody, Alistair Mckinnon, Dirk Schulz and Sam Alpass. All three of the top cars have had almost totally untroubled runs showing the importance of consistency and staying out of the pits.

Speedworks are in fourth (and third in class) in their GT4 Aston Martin. They have the unusual situation of having one of their drivers excluded from the results. John Gilbert was judged to have caused an avoidable collision when he hit a Top Cats Marcos earlier in the race. It means he can take no further part in the race and won’t receive any prize that the rest of the driver may win. The remaining three of Anthony Hughes, Ollie Hancock and Devon Modell look secure in their position with the car behind them four laps further back.

In that fifth place is Saxon Motorsport BMW 1 series which other than a small fire caused by it’s electronic position number, has had a faultless run which has put it ahead of faster cars.

The Ginetta is back on track (photo by Marc Waller)  Speedworks have had a driver excluded (photo by Marc Waller) Saxon Motorsport are in the top five (photo by Marc Waller) Alice has been pushing the car as far up the field as she can (photo by Marc Waller) Alice gives advice to team mate Andrew Frankel (photo by Marc Waller)

In sixth is Alice Powell’s team in the works run Aston Martin. Alice has been setting her fastest laps of the race so far this morning and quicker than most of the front runners but the cars slower pace in the hands of the other drivers has left them too far back although if one of the top three GT4 cars in class 3 hits a problem they may sneak a class podium. She has just handed over to Andrew Frankel.

“Things are going well. I’m not sure if I’m out again, the team have to decided. I’m feeling very tired now though.” She said as she recovered in the garage.

Seventh is the Radical, recovering well from its incidents earlier in the race but it’s probably now too far behind the Aston Martin ahead of it so unless there are further retirements, seventh may be the highest they get. They are leading class 1 however with all the other class 1 runners including the Ginetta suffering further problems.

Eighth is the red Camel Seat with it’s all Dutch crew. They are 24 hour race veterans, having raced in them all over the world. Ninth is the WEC Motorsport BMW of the Cox family. Dave, Jason and Michael are joined by George Haynes. They are third in class with the Saxon Motorsport BMW second in that class and the Bas Koeten Seat leading.

In tenth is the MARC Cars Australia Barwell run Focus. They are leading class two but incidents and car problems have left them a lot lower than their pace would suggest as they are currently the second fastest car on track with just the Ginetta faster. The second Focus has just had a heavy crash with James Kaye at the wheel and it looks like that might be it’s race over.

The LNT Ginetta is back running and currently has Sir Chris Hoy at the wheel. They have climbed back to sixteenth but their target now is just to be classified as a finisher.

The ever popular Fiesta is in seventeenth having been ahead of the Ginetta briefly until they were repassed by the LMP3 car which is an incredible 37 seconds a lap quicker than it!

We’ve not yet mentioned the oldest car in the race, a Porsche 968 racing in aid of the Childrens Heart Foundation. It’s in twelfth overall and fourth in class. Like the Fiesta it’s not fast enough to beat its rival on speed but they’ve slowly been picking up places as the race has gone on helped by the car being extremely reliable.

The final update will be after the race finishes when we’ll know who has won the Dunlop 24 hours.  By Marc Waller  

They've had loads of problems but the MARC cars Focus is still in the top ten (photo by Marc Waller) Theyre still going (photo by Marc Waller) The oldest car in the race (photo by Marc Waller) The Lotus is in third (photo by Marc Waller)




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