The 24 hours of Guadix

Please see below a report from Marc Chaplin of their stunning performance at the 24 Hours race at Circuito Guadix over the weekend.

Our team "Marbella Racing Drivers Club" consisted of me, Peter Bowerman, Stephen Pattrick, Carlo Mason and Hans-Peter Dalen... so three fifths are CCCA members :)
We started at noon on saturday and kept a steady sensible pace with a throttle stop fixed in place to make sure nobody got carried away in the first few hours!! The car behaved well and we ran for the first 8 hours in 10th (mid tableish) with no dramas but as night fell our headlights failed!! (the car has been prepped for day time sprint races!!) we got black flagged and lost a few minutes fixing them again but only had dipped beam for the rest of the race.... not much fun in the pitch black!!
Our times slipped back a bit but we still came through the night stints in 9th overall which was down to great driving from Peter, Carlo and Hans-Peter (who had never been to that circuit before!) who both kept us on the black stuff and in sight of the leaders! We had one major drama during the night when Steve reported on the radio that he had lost power and was coming into the pits... the engine died at the start of the pit lane as a fuel line had come off... luckily a push and  2 minute fix and he was off again!
Daylight dawned and the grid of 20 original starters had come down to 16 cars including us...quite amazing, I thought more would have died by then! It was then my 3rd stint and I then ran for just over 2 hours and pushed VERY hard and got us up to 6th overall and then handed over to Steve again (it is his car and he wanted to cross the line:)) and he charged even harder as we removed the throttle stop to give him everything the little golf had got! He drove really well got the fastest lap time of 1.41.276 and we finished 5th overall and 4th in class.
Our Golf Gti Mk2 is race prepped but has no engine mods at all (as they are not permitted in the normal championship) so at best we only had 112 BHP and the 4 cars that beat us all had 150 plus! Fortunately we had a better chassis and it really showed in the last 4 hours!
By the time the flag dropped at noon on sunday we were all knackered but especially our mechanic Martin McCann (ex F2 race mechanic) who had no sleep what so ever the whole time and did a sterling job in prepping and maintaining the car throughout!
We did a total of 632 laps which equated to just under 1,800 kms. We only used 340 euros worth of fuel and 2 sets of tyres so a pretty cheap event considering!!
Looking back we realised that we made some mistakes in setting too slow a pace for the first 5 or 6 hours  (didn't want to blow the engine!) and stopped to often for fuel (there was a compulsory 10 minute stop if you fueled up) which means that next time we will be much better prepared and we will win it!! We could have done with Dave Price to work out our strategy but he was ringing and twittering from the states throughout the race and took more interest in us than he did in the 24 hour Daytona race:))
Cant wait for the next one... best bit of racing I have ever had....and the car didn't blow up!!!

PS. these are a few rubbish iphone pics i took but i will get Pete to email me some better ones once he has downloaded them

Kind Regards

Marc Chaplin

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