Friday, September 07, 2007

Endurance racing's best-kept secret

One race missing from yesterday's Midweek Menu that should have been on there is the Britcar 24 Hours. Britcar is basically an endurance-racing championship for primarily amateur drivers in production-based cars. The rules are set-up to allow as much variety as possible in the grids, and costs for teams are kept carefully in check to retain the spirit of the series. I recently heard one of the organizers say that if a car came along that didn't fit into the rules, they would "find a way to allow it to race".

But a funny thing happened after a couple of years... the racing was so good, the grids so fun and diverse and with very few other options for drivers who wanted to go endurance racing, the professionals started to show up. Britcar started to become a place for some of the top drivers to "blow off steam" in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. It also allowed amateur drivers to pit themselves against some of the top racers in the sport.

Nowhere was this more in evidence than at the crown jewel event of the championship, the Silverstone 24 Hours. First run in 2005, and benefitting from the groundwork already laid by Britcar in the previous few years, it was an instant success. The event grew in 2006, and the organizers brought in the Radio Le Mans team to provide track and web commentary.

The entry list in 2007 is extremely impressive. Big names from sportscar racing such as Martin Short, Jamie Campbell-Walter, David Leslie, Michael Vergers, Marcel Fassler and Cor Euser are joined by touring car pros like Anthony Reid, Fiona Leggate and Gareth Howell. Other notable entrants include BTCC organizer Alan Gow, Duke Video boss Peter Duke, Evo magazine writer Jethro Bovingdon and the entire BBC Top Gear team (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and The Stig) who are filming the effort for an upcoming TV show. Check out this thread at FinalGear.com for more info, and scroll down for some photos (the hilarious picture above is one of them, so photo credit and thanks to Arosamike from FinalGear.com)

1 comment:

Clive said...

Wonderful, wonderful photo! :)