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BRITCAR 24HR 2012 RACE REPORT

The Team arrived at the circuit late on the Wednesday night, with high hopes of a good run with a strong driver line-up of Jonny MacGregor, Nigel Farmer, Gerald Tan and Jamie Smyth, a fresh engine, and highly developed drivetrain fitted to the Ultima. The Team had fitted a new engine ready for the event, and they headed out in practice on Thursday in order to run the engine in. The morning session was spent with the new drivers running in the engine and familiarising themselves with the circuit, whilst the crew tested the new Proshift system which was fitted to the car. The Ultima headed out in the afternoon session to start building up speed - however on the first run, the Ultima suffered a failure of the new engine round Beckett's. The rod bolts had sheared and put a rod through the side of the case - luckily the heatshielding that was in place protected the tank from puncturing too.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR Jonny MacGregor


The engine was removed and the crew cleaned up the mess whilst a new engine was sourced. This was fitted overnight and was fired up halfway through the warmup session. The engine was ran in during qualifying (which was cut short by a broken oil radiator) and in night qualifying.

During the sessions, an issue was found with the main crank bolt coming loose. The bolt was retorqued and some last minute checks were completed prior to warmup on Saturday morning - in just three laps the bolt had come loose again. Prior to the race some last minute changes were made – the crew change the engine and gearbox oil and headed out to the grid.

On the way to the grid the bolt had come loose again so after the gridwalk, the crew pushed the car back to the pit and spot welded the bolt to the crank pulley, a quick solution that would last the whole race.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR Gerald Tan Nigel Farmer


Nigel Farmer started the race from the pitlane as a result of the spot welding, and quickly went from 37th up to 10th in the first hour or so. About an hour in and the crew received reports of Nigel losing drive. The car was eventually towed back, and it was found that both sets of driveshaft bolts had sheared simultaneously. The crew extracted the broken parts, replaced the bolts and spot welded the driveshaft adaptors to the stub shafts, and headed back out, 2 hours down after the first 3 hours.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR Nigel Farmer

Gerald Tan headed out, and the car behaved faultlessly as night fell. Tan finished his stint, and passed the car back to Farmer, who continued to make good progress. Unfortunately, about halfway through his stint, he was caught out into Luffield by some glare from a car he had just overtaken, and hit the wall on the outside of the track. The car was brought in, everything looked in tact, so some bodywork was patched up and the car sent back out with MacGregor at the wheel.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR Josh Tomlinson Marv Epton Refuelling

MacGregor completed his 70 minute stint and brought the car in having gained a place, and handed over to Tan. About 30 minutes later the crew received reports of the backend becoming unstable - the car was brought into the pits, and it was found that the rear bearing, which had suffered the blow against the wall, had failed. The upright was changed, the brakes bled and the calliper, discs and pads cleaned up in about 45 minutes, and the Ultima went back out on circuit with MacGregor at the wheel.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR Jonny MacGregor Pitstop

The Ultima continued without any major issues during the night – MacGregor completed the first 80 minute stint, and passed over to Tan. On his second lap he had a slight off, causing some rear brake ducting to become damaged; the car was brought in and the crew spent about 20 minutes repairing the brake duct and removing the grass and debris from the radiator and ducts. MacGregor then jumped back in the car and started making up ground on the opposition.

MacGregor handed over to Farmer at 5:30 am, who continued to make up ground as the attrition started to creep up on our opponents, when disaster struck at 6am. The new rear wheel bearing, on the side which had taken the blow to the wall had failed. With no spares to hand, 6 hours were lost as a new part was sourced direct from the Ultima factory. This was brought back, fitted to the car and we were back out at 11:30. Tan headed out, and completed a few more laps when the rain came - and it really did come down. The crew brought Tan in and changed to wets just at the right time, within minutes the track was flooded, and lap times fell through the floor. With the dry setup on the car was very twitchy, however Gerald Tan was making good progress.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR Nigel Farmer


Gerald suffered from an oil pressure warning, so he brought the car in, and it was found to be a faulty sensor which had expired in the rain, so after 20 minutes or so Nigel Farmer was sent back out. A faultless stint from Farmer, and the crew called him in for a driver change and some changes to the setup – the crew disconnected the anti roll bars in order to improve the handling in the wet. MacGregor was sent back out to finish off the race, taking P28 from Topcats in the final minutes in the torrential rain.

Britcar 24hr MacG Racing Ultima GTR

Thanks to everyone for their support and help throughout the event, especially Ted Marlow at Ultima who provided us with the upright at short notice on Sunday morning, and Pete Ellis at PTR exhausts who made us an exhaust system which passed even the most stringent noise tests, when most competitors were black flagged at some point.

 

Just Doors UK sponsoring MacG Racing
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CSF Radiators from MacG Racing
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Wavetrac Differentials from MacG Racing
Quantum Racing Suspension sponsors MacG Racing
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