Posted on In Coverage
Henry Dawes led his Track Torque 2 Rent Domino’s squad to victory in a hard fought battle at a scorching Spa Francorchamps circuit.
10 UK crews crossed the channel for the traditional 25hr race, the longest in the world. The highly anticipated event saw an incredible total of 123 starters.
Initially it was Nigel Greensall that led the way for CCS Media, while Farquini Deott started for JPR UVio with a double stint and an early second place.
Track Focused were plagued with problems before the start and joined in 16 laps down after a second alternator change.
Team Tiger’s quartet of Ben Beighton, Chloe Noyce, Oliver Bryant and Will Plant came to the fore after four hrs and continued to run strongly until Chloe had a huge off at Blanchimont on Sunday morning.
Ciro Carannante, Bob Tomlinson, Alan Honarmand and Steve Johansen joined Greensall in keeping CCS to the forefront. However, Global racing had also featured strongly, but suffered an exhaust breakage during the night and continued very noisily.
Johansen had a lucky escape when his rear suspension broke mid-way through Sunday morning, but the Track Torque 2 Rent Domino’s crew of Dawes, Paul Wighton, Neil Burroughs and Ray Grimes gradually took charge from the 19th hour and took the win by four laps, despite running with a broken exhaust.
Henry Dawes, summed up: “The car was gutless and sounded like a tractor, but we managed to keep it going. I had a really close call in the night when I got turned around by a spinning car and ended up reversing towards Pouhon at about 50 mph, with everyone facing me”.
He added: “I still don’t know how we survived! But somehow Craig and the team got the car to the end and Clive’s fuel strategy was great. What an awesome event!”.
CCS Media looked set for second, but with Greensall back in for the final stint, he eventually lost out on the place after his final fuel stop.
Their loss was Kinetix Motorsport’s gain, with debutant Dennis Strandberg doing a sterling job alongside James Harrison, Michelle Hayward and Jade Edwards, in the absence of Chris Webster, who did return from urgent dental treatment in the UK for a stint on Sunday morning.
Global racing held on for fourth with Scott Mansell, Tom Ingram, Sarah Reader and John Gilbert, while JPR’s UVio’s Deott, Paul Rose, Neil Plimmer and Tim Wheeldon reclaimed a late fifth from Jolly Rogers Mike Humphreys, Andrew Beverley and Ben Gill, despite snapping a crank and having the engine changed on Sunday morning.
Viking Self Storage made it home seventh after various tales of woe, similarly Track Focused in eighth. Apart from Team Tiger, the only other retirement was the JPR car of BTCC racer Stewart Lines, sharing with VAG Trophy regular Simon Tomlinson, Steve Harris and Ben Lack, after Harris had an accident during the night and Lack then suffered a bigger one.
1 Track Torque/2 Rent Dominos (Henry Dawes/Paul Wighton/Neil Burroughs/Ray Grimes) 378 laps in 25h01m32.705s (65.74mph); 2 Kinetix Motorsport (Dennis Strandberg/James Harrison/Michelle Hayward/Jade Edwards/Chris Webster) +4 laps; 3 CCS Media Racing (Nigel Greensall/Ciro Carannante/Bob Tomlinson/Alan Honarmand/Steve Johansen); 4 Global Racing (Scott Mansell/Tom Ingram/Sarah Reader/John Gilbert); 5 JPR UVio (Farquini Deott/Paul Rose/Neil Plimmer/Tim Wheeldon); 6 Jolly Roger Racing (Mike Humphreys/Andrew Beverley/Ben Gill); 7 Viking Self Storage (Mark Holme/Nick Nunn/Jim Hadfield/Colin Kingsnorth); 8 Track Focused (Mike McCollum/Sean Cooper/Neil Smith/Steve Brown); no other finishers. Fastest lap Greensall (CCS Media) 3m03.972s (85.16mph).