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EMC Motorsport Britcar 24hr

Britcar 24hr

Our 24 hour race started about 2 weeks before the event, when we decided to build an endurance Porsche 968. With limited time it was all systems go and we worked every hour available to finish the car. On the Thursday morning at about 0300 hrs we painted the car. At 0600 hrs it was loaded onto the trailer (still a touch soft!) and at 1200hrs it was out on track at Silverstone practicing having never turned a wheel and the engine having only run for about 10mins in the workshop!

She sailed through testing, day and night qualifying and only a failed drive coupling stopped her from completing the free practice session. Coupling fixed we were ready to go for the 1630 race start. This was unknown territory for us as we had only raced in sprint races the longest being 1hr, so this was steep learning curve. We had got the geometry spot on for the Dunlop slicks and all the drivers had commented how easy the car was to drive so this allowed us a bit of time to modify the lighting and double check everything. Once the race was underway we kept our heads down and all the drivers were at a steady pace keeping the car on track and out of trouble. When racing on slicks the marbles thrown off the tyres have to be seen to be believed, down the back straight it's like driving through a meteor storm, each marble sounding like it's going to rip the front wings off. Best to just ignore it and drive faster. Each pit-stop got faster and we even had a crowd of on-lookers in the night stops! During the night one of our drivers got nudged in the door by a GT3, he radioed it in so we told him to drive carefully for a few laps to make sure the car felt alright, he then promptly set his personal best lap time! The cars o.k. then?

As morning broke all the cars in the race were lined up on the start line, the fog was so thick that no-one could see anything and the race was neutralised for an hour or so. This gave the mechanics and drivers time for a quick nap, if you think you'll get any sleep in a 24hr race think again, we learned this the hard way! Once the race was underway again we had only a puncture to deal with outside of the regular pit-stops. At the 1hr to go mark our nerves were jangling, at the 20 min to go mark we were tense and at 5 mins to go we were gibbering in the corner of the pit garage. When our car crossed the line the emotion has to be felt to be believed, we were all relieved, overjoyed and very, very tired but we had done it! Our car ran faultlessly the entire race and despite being covered in rubber marbles and having all the lovely paintwork scratched and dented, seriously worn out brake discs and smashed headlights she was still the most beautiful thing in the entire world.

Thanks to our race mechanics John, Mark, Ben, Derek and Tristan for keeping the car running in tip-top condition, thanks also to Steph and Amy for keeping us fed and watered and special thanks to all the lads from Warwick University who refuelled the cars all day and night, you were the unsung heroes.