Old friends reunite for Brands Hatch action!

Posted by | Posted in Latest News | Posted on 07-06-2012

Head/O'Neill

Last weekend’s Britcar GT Endurance Race saw the return of three drivers to to the Topcats Racing team.  Joining full season campaigner, Owen O’Neill was Sam Head who has returned to the racing seat for the first time this season.

Jon Harrison was also making a welcome return for the first time this year having brokered a deal with pal, Rob Wilson over a few (too many) beers to share the drive in the 3 hour race. Wilson not having raced since competing in the Martini Cup with Warren Gilbert in 2009.

Head set the fastest of the team’s four drivers to put the Head/O’Neill duo in Marcos No.35 in 15th overall and 3rd in class with Wilson/Harrison in the No.35 car following closely behind in 16th and 4th in class. Both drivers made a cautious start to the race to ensure that they could play to their strengths later in the race as fuel strategies and driver changes ran their course.

Forty minutes into the race and Head had knuckled down to put in a succession of quick laps and was up to P7.

Wilson/Harrison

Wilson had also managed to make his way up the leaderboard and was looking very comfortable in 11th.

The safety car was deployed 1 hour and 20 minutes into the race and teams strategy dictated that this would be the time to pit Wilson and refuel, handing over to Harrison in the process.

Time allowed to use the same tactics for the No.35 car of Head/O’Neill and they pitted 1 lap later to refuel and swap drivers.

As the race restarted on lap 52, Head/O’Neill were in P12 and Harrison/Wilson in P14 with several front runners still to make their first pit stop.

Harrison was able to extract a little more from his car than O’Neill as he swapped positions with his stablemate, pulling Harrison into P12 and O’Neill tailing behind him in P13. They picked up another place each as they entered final third of the race.

The TVR Sagaris of Holden and Barrett made an unscheduled stop on lap 71 and being less than a lap behind them another place was earned apiece.

Pits

As the final late pit stopping cars returned to the track, Harrison was up to P9 and 2nd in class and O’Neill in P10 and 3rd in class.

Things were going too well for Harrison though, a squirmy late brake from Harrison coming up to Druids saw him swap ends and then collected by another car causing damage to the rear wheel.

A wheel change and some tape to the rear quarter fixed the problem and a gutted Harrison vacated the seat to allow Wilson the chance to enjoy the final half an hour behind the wheel albeit in a sideways fashion.

The Head/O’Neill car leapfrogged the front running Millard/Heward Rapier SR2 as they encountered problems to take 8th overall as they crossed the finish line.

Harrison/Wilson crossed the line in 14th overall but more significantly they were still able to bag points for third in class.

The next round is at Oulton Park on Saturday 23rd June.

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