25 SEP 2012

Team LNT put on a strong performance in the Britcar 24 Hour at Silverstone circuit this weekend, as the original Le Mans winning squad lined up on pole position.

Fielding Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson, triple Le Mans winner Tom Kimber-Smith and former Ginetta MD and Le Mans winner, Richard Dean, with the addition of official Ginetta factory driver and former Britcar 24 hour winner Mike Simpson; Team LNT had a strong driver line up ahead of the weekend’s action.

A storming performance during free practice and day qualifying saw Team LNT start Sunday’s race from pole position, and having finished Saturday’s warm up session a clear two seconds ahead of their nearest rival, the Ginetta G55 GT3 car was already proving it’s impressive pace.

As racing got underway, Mike Simpson took the helm for the first stint, propelling the car into a comfortable six second lead by the end of the first hour, one which the team extended to six laps by hours eight and nine.

Drive shaft issues in the early hours of the morning caused the team to pit; the team worked hard to get the car back on circuit, and having rejoined in overall fifth place, Team LNT pushed hard to make up the 13 lap deficit to the lead by the time the sun began to rise over the Northamptonshire circuit.

Having clawed back six laps as racing entered the sixteenth hour, a later oil pressure issue stopped the car running just six hours from the chequered flag, forcing the team to sit in the pits until the final racing lap.

Holding the fastest lap for well over half of the race with a 2:05.311 lap time and a speed of a blistering 105.16mph, the pace of the 4.35 V8 engined Ginetta G55 GT3 car was unquestionable around the challenging Silverstone circuit.

Mike Simpson said; “Team LNT and the Ginetta G55 GT3 showed stunning pace all weekend at the 24HR, proving the 2012 development has resulted in one of the fastest GT3 cars on the market. This was the first 24hr test for the car and we are very happy with its achievements. Over the next couple of months we will work hard on the final endurance upgrades for the car and then we will be ready to challenge for all championships next season. “

Another Ginetta entry in the 24 hour race came from Optimum Motorsport’s lineup of Mowle, Osbourne, Fletcher and Rattenbury, who put their Dubai 24hr winning G50 GT4 car on P7 overall following a strong qualifying, and brought the car home second in class two. The team now look towards the Dubai 24 where they aim to retain the GT4 title with a two car team.

In class four, Piranha Motorsport’s G40 car was battling for the class lead until their exhaust silencer split and forced the team to pit for repairs, whilst this took the team out of contention, Simon Mason, Team Owner said; “The car ran like clockwork, had the pace and the fuel consumption to do the job in the remainder of the race. Best of all we must have had one of the smallest budgets in the field, the G40 GT5 is a brilliant low cost endurance racer…. Maybe next time!”

Team LNT now look towards the final round of the British GT at Donington Park, where Lawrence Tomlinson and Mike Simpson will contest the final two hour race of the season.

Watch a video of the weekends action here

Photo by Steve Shurey