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BRITISH ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 4 - THRUXTON 12-06-11

Clear skies and a dry track greeted the teams on the Saturday for warm-up and qualifying for Round 4 of the Britcar British Endurance Championship at Thruxton. MacG Racing welcomed their latest driver, Jamie Smyth to the Team for the first time. Regular driver MacGregor had no experience of the unique Thruxton circuit and Smyth had no experience of the Ultima, so it was going to be a learning experience for all parties.

Both drivers spent the practice session familiarising themselves with the track and the equipment, and despite a red flag, managed to get a reasonable number of laps in the 40 minute session.

A couple of tweaks were made for the afternoon qualifying session, whilst the drivers spent the time exchanging notes about the car and the circuit. MacGregor headed out first in qualifying, putting in 3 laps to reinforce his knowledge of the circuit before attempting some fast laps. On lap 4 MacGregor started upping the pace, but the Eclipse GT3 Ferrari 430 hampered his progress, so MacGregor returned to the pits having clocked a 1:18.1, putting him in 4th place behind the GT3 Racing Viper, Aquila CR1 and the Azteca Mosler. MacGregor handed over to Smyth, who spent a couple of laps getting more familiar with the car before winding up the pace. 3 laps in, the red flags were out once again, and by the time the issue was cleared, Smyth was hitting the track with the majority of the field on the track at once. Due to the traffic, Smyth was only able to clock a 1:18.5, leaving the MacG Racing Ultima 8th on the Grid, 3 seconds off the pace of the pole sitter.

Overnight the heavens opened, and the rain came down. The rain was relentless, and the warm-up session was spent running in new wet tyres. The Ultima was very competitive in the wet, and the Team had high hopes after showing some very impressive pace in warm-up.

The teams were all battling the elements as the rain continued to come down, with the track becoming significantly water-logged in places. MacGregor was battling with demisting issues before the race had even begun, whilst sitting in the assembly area. The cars rolled away from the dummy grid for the warm-up lap, and the huge amount of water and spray made it clear that it was going to be a very tentative start to the race if the cars were all going to survive the first few laps. On the second rolling lap however, the Ultima’s electrics suddenly died, and the car came to a complete standstill just before Church. The car was towed back to the pits, and the fault was later diagnosed to a failure of the external master cut-off switch, cutting all power to the car. This ended the race for the Ultima before it had really even begun. The race was to be cut short for everyone, however, as the officials abandoned the event just after the hour mark due to unsafe conditions.

 

Gallery courtesy of Xynamic.com available here

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