ARCHIE HAMILTON TAKES HIS FIRST 24 HOUR FINISH Qualified Overall: 19th Finished: OA: 10th Class 3: 6th Archie Hamilton took another step towards his goal of winning Le Mans by taking part in his first 24 hour race. The Britcar 24 Hours...
ARCHIE HAMILTON TAKES HIS FIRST 24 HOUR FINISH
Qualified Overall: 19th
Finished: OA: 10th
Class 3: 6th
Archie Hamilton took another step towards his goal of winning Le Mans by taking part in his first 24 hour race. The Britcar 24 Hours takes place at Silverstone and Archie raced with Welch Motorsport in a SEAT Leon Supercopa that was hoping would punch above its weight. His fellow drivers were Mark Pilatti, Luke Wright and Richard Kent, and the quartet drove the SEAT through rain and shine, although significantly more of the former.
The car was qualified to start 19th out of the 60 cars and 10th of the 26 Class 3 competitors which included Aston Martins, Ginettas and Lotus' and Porsches.
Archie was the fourth in the running order so first took the when at 8.30pm, 4 hours after the start of the race. When he took over the car was 19th and 11th in class. The weather was changeable with small amounts of rain and as he took over Archie made the call for wets. It was the right way to go as the heavens opened and within 30 minutes standing water was becoming a problem for many. As he handed the car back after his 90 minute stint the car was 11th and 6th in class.
For his next stint, Archie took over for a double stint, from 3am to 6am, the maximum allowable in the regulations with the car sitting 13th and 9th in class. Despite a lengthy session behind the safety car due to the torrential rain and standing water on the track Archie had managed to gain enough time for the car to be in 10th position and 7th in class.
The final full stint for Archie was mid-morning on Sunday. Again Archie got the car back into tenth place, again in the wet conditions in which he seemed to thrive. It was then a case of handing over to the team to get the car to the line. With less than three hours to go the team had a heart-stopping 15 minutes with an engine problem. Three laps were lost for repairs but the car carried on and the drivers set about hauling back the lost time and making up from thirteenth place. Within thirty minutes Luke had pulled back one place and was just one second from the car ahead when it was time to pit again.
Just after the clock showed the final hour of the race, Richard reclaimed 11th and 7th in class. The car in front was 7 laps ahead but Richard pushed hard and climbed to 10th and 6th in class. At 4.30pm the car crossed the line after completing 523 laps.
"I've had an amazing time. It's been a fantastic experience and to be part of a team that completes 24 hours is a real achievement. The car was great and I had confidence with it in the rain, although the conditions at times were pretty bad. The longer stints weren't a problem at all, even though I'd only ever done 40 minutes in a car before. The adrenalin keeps you going and you're so focussed on the track, the car and everyone else out there that the time flies by. Welch Motorsport were great and I've really enjoyed driving as part of a team which bodes well for my future hopefully!"
-source: archie hamilton