The 2004 UK
24-Hour Endurance Event
21st/22nd August 2004 - Rowrah
The preparations for the weekend were hampered by some appalling weather, making the positioning and erection of the lighting towers, an interesting job to say the least. By Wednesday night the IKP team had run out of dry clothes and even the sheep on hilltop had disappeared, as the weather continued to make conditions extremely unpleasant. By Thursday morning some of the teams had started to arrive and many were convinced that they were in for a wet weekend, but by Friday lunchtime, and all the pre-race preparation completed, the sun came out just in time for the 6-hour practice session. Come 6pm and the days testing completed, the teams were treated to a lovely summers evening, ideal for the Rodeo Bull competition and beer distribution.
Saturday morning was another glorious day which started with one hour's unofficial timed practice, followed by a one hour qualifying period, with the mid-day race start still on schedule. Team X took pole position from Team Zaremba with Essex Flyers and DBR McGee making up the 2nd row. Surprisingly, some of the favourites for the race such as Racing for Holland and MS Lucas, qualified well outside the top ten.
At 12 noon exactly, the race got under way with a clean start and the first of 1478 laps appeared on the timing screen, which would equate to a race distance of over 1,000 miles. This was with the exception of one team (who shall remain nameless) who forgot to fit their transponder to the kart and were forced to pit immediately to remedy this error.
Five minutes into the race Team X had pulled out a 20 metres lead on the ensuing pack, then unbelievably, the normally bullet proof Team X had an engine problem which caused them to drop from 1st to 35th position, and this was only the first of six unscheduled stops the team would make before then end of the race. Conversely DrBx who started 37th on the grid had stormed up to 4th place behind DBR McGee, Team Zaremba and now leaders MS Lucas. Four hours into the race and leaders MS Lucas were forced to pit with a brake problem dropping them down to 13th place leaving Team Zaremba in the lead from Racing for Holland, DBR McGee, Mash-On (Ireland), AJ Bayliss and Jerky Boyz making up the top six. With quarter distance now completed, Team Zaremba still held the lead from DBR McGee and TeamTec with Racing for Holland just in front of the recovered MS Lucas.
As the light started to fade, the 20 tower lights were switched on, bathing the quarry in a glow that could be seen for miles. Team Zaremba still led from DBR McGee and MS Lucas and as the half way stage approached, these three teams kept swapping places as they pitted for fuel. Then Team Zaremba lost a wheel, dropping them back to 14th place, this left DBR McGee in the lead from MS Lucas with AJ Bayliss in 3rd place, until they too had a mechanical problem which forced them to pit and rejoin in 13th place. At 01:00 DBR McGee still led MS Lucas by 32 seconds with TeamTec in 3rd place. Racing for Holland were back in the hunt and just in front of Mash-On and Team X who had recovered from nearly last, back up to 6th place. DrBx also moved up into the top six, displacing Racing for Holland and Apollo Racing were now the leading clubman in 7th place overall. By 03:00 MS Lucas had regained the lead from DBR McGee when they were forced to pit for an engine change and Team X had now moved into 4th place.
By 07:00, the flood-lights had been switched off and the running order was now MS Lucas, DBR McGee, Team X, TeamTec, Mash-On and Apollo Racing. With three hours to go Jerky Boyz had moved up into the top six and Racing for Holland had recovered to a creditable 8th, after engine problems during the night.
With 1 hours racing left to go MS Lucas had a 3 lap advantage over DBR McGee, but still needed one more fuel stop to get them to the end of the race. That completed and half an hour to go, MS Lucas backed off the pace to ensure a trouble free finish and eventually crossed the line 1 lap clear of DBR McGee in a blaze of fireworks. Team X took the last podium place with Apollo Racing finishing 7th overall to take the top clubman spot and conclude a memorable weekends racing.
Post race scrutineering confirmed the offical results and after the presentation had taken place the teams broke camp and prepared for the long journey home, all vowing to return in 12 months time.
1st MS Lucas
2nd DBR McGee
3rd Team X
6th Jerky Boyz
1st Apollo Racing
2nd Imp Racing
Photographs by John Miller and Sue Bowler
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