By the Scruff are proud race sponsors for the Smarts4YouRacing team who took part in the Britcar 24hr race. Good luck from all the team here!
Read ahead for the race report:
Smarts4youracing which owns and runs the 4Two Cup, a race series for the little town car, entered the larger forfour model owned by the smart club into the prestigious Britcar 24hr race at Silverstone. It was the first time in the world that a Smart car had been entered into such a gruelling race and was up against some very fast cars from marques including Porsche, Ferrari, and Aston Martin.
The drivers consisted of four very experienced racers: 4Two Cup founders and former Britcar winners, Paul Bates and James Palmer, local racer Tom Mills and 16 year old David Moore, the current 4Two Cup series leader. Nigel Moore from Tockwith motorsport help build and run the car as our chief engineer. Nigel is the youngest British driver to race at Le Mans for a works team, So plenty of experience there.
Paul Bates said: ‘We had a very good team running the car and some great sponsors, including CFT Financials and drum and bass label, Ram Records. The team set out with one goal and that was to finish the race.’
Things didn’t start off too well during Thursday practice as the car had a misfire, which took until the early hours of Friday to rectify. This meant that the car went into qualifying without any testing on the tyres that would be used in the race.
Qualifying took place and due to their practice problem this left the team on the starting grid in 54th place out of 57 cars.
The race got underway at 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon and first to take to the wheel was Paul Bates. James Palmer was followed by Tom Mills and finally 16 year old David ‘Nipper’ Moore. At this point the Smart car was up to 27th overall.
Near disaster was about to strike as darkness approached when David radioed through to the team with a fuel surge problem.
James Palmer added: ‘ He came into the pits for a check and the team found that the fuel tank had split. So 6hrs in to the race a decision was made to take the fuel tank out of a road car, fit all the special fitting and put this on the race car. 1hr and 5mins later the car was back on track, but had dropped back to 36th place.’
The car pounded on into the night gaining places and was back up to 33rd, when a wheel bearing broke causing the brakes to fail.
As Paul Bates said: ‘What a scary moment, I was approaching Brooklands at 125mph with no brakes.’
Once again the car pitted for a new wheel hub and brakes and less than an hour later the car emerged from the pits in 37th place. On it went for the next 11 hours with only the scheduled stops for fuel, new tyres and driver changes. As the race went on the team climbed back up the leader board.
By 4pm on Sunday the car was not surprisingly looking worse for wear. Half its wing was missing, it had no side skirts, a very badly cracked windscreen and a suspension issue.
But despite all that on it went to take the chequered flag on a late Sunday afternoon in 28th place overall.
The car had completed a total of 456 laps of Silverstone race circuit, a total of 1,672 miles.
740 Litres of fuel had been used and 6 sets of slick tyres.
We would like to say a massive thank you to all of our sponsors and team. Without them this would have not been possible.
Roll on next year.
For more information about Smarts4YouRacing go to smarts4youracing.com