27.8.14 - 2014 EPEC (Rd 6 of 10) Eindhoven 24hr

Some teams had gone over early to combine a mini break with  the race. The weather was cool and breezy but improved all the way to race day and a  temperature of 340C. The  unremitting sunshine burnt the unwary. 

Race day , of course, was therefore WET !


43 MS SoCo Select 73.696 sec  (Ayrton Senna Koolen)
111 MS JSR 1 74.765 (Adam Nichols)
23 POT Racing 74.828 (Tristram Oman)
8 BRM Stretton 74.973 (Charlie Bingham)
98 Baron Racing 75.065 (Jeremy Gumbley)
4 ALPHA 75.318 (Austin Munday)

Race 12 noon Saturday   warm and wet

During unofficial practise there had been 2 horrible looking accidents at the same corner, in the first, the kart barrel rolled and the driver jumped from the kart and then remained prone for what seemed like a long time, which warranted a red flag and a paramedic. In the second the driver kicked the kart away in mid air and landed safely, the kart caught fire and Adam Nichols was quickly on hand with a fire extinguisher to control the situation. There were no more “incidents” but there was apprehension in the air as the drivers lined up in preparation for a start in tricky conditions.


Circuit operator Peter van Oord at start grid     

43 MS SoCo Select’s  Ayrton Senna showing the way at end of first lap

From a Le Mans start Adam Nichols (111 MS JSR 1)  repeated his glorious start from IOM and swept into the lead. He was rapidly overtaken in the difficult conditions by 43 MS SoCo Select’s  Ayrton Senna (not a lot of reporters have the chance to use those words). The front two were followed by 23 POT (Tristram Oman)  and 98 Baron (Jeremy Gumbley)  who had somehow found a way to get in front of 8 BRM Stretton (Charlie Bingham) , 4 ALPHA ( Ozzie Munday) and 58 DWS (Thomas McMurray). The rest of the 42 drivers followed on behind.


The twisting , elevated track was very slippery in the drizzly conditions and rewarded an ultra smooth driving style. Quite a number found this difficult and contact and subsequent off track excursions were common.

8 min into the race  (6 laps) and an order had been established.  43 MS SoCo Select leading with a 7 sec gap to 98 Baron Racing , four sec in front of  8 BRM Stretton then 111 MS JSR, 4 ALPHA, 443 MS Lucas (Connor Lucas), 44 MS JSR 2 (Stef Joncker), 23 POT Racing, 1 Titan Motorsports (Owen Jenman), 11 making up the top 10.


The conditions were drying out and we had lost 10sec from the lap time (but still 10 sec to go to a dry time). 98 Baron  had just gone purple (62.05sec) and were reducing the gap to the leader to 5 sec. 11 had moved up to 8th and 77 OffLine Racing ( Kosta Kyritsis) were the leading Clubman in 10th.

At 1.5 hrs 

Some had re-fuelled and some had yet to re – fuel and so 98 Baron Racing  had inherited the lead, 111 MS JSR, 4 ALPHA, 43 MS SoCo Select and 888 BRM Stretton  but the laptimes were now down to dry times.30 Petch had a  troubled start with spins and 4 visits to the  pits within the first 10 laps. First one of the front runners into the pits was  23 POT Racing with a  very bent track rod, then 115 Team Keane ( Rob Stanway) came in with a broken rear hub and track rods.  443 MS Lucas ( Connor Lucas) picked up debris from the track which got caught in the chain and caused it to buckle.



98 Baron Racing (Bradley Philpott) still in lead, 43 MS SoCo Select  (Darren Rayfield) , 4 ALPHA (Dave Robinson), 8 BRM Stretton (Simon Bayliss) and 111 MS JSR (Mick McDonald) on the lead lap.

1 Titan Motorsports (Andy O’Neill) returned to the pits in the pick up truck under a full course yellow. 4 ALPHA dived into the pits for re-fuelling and a set up change while 1 Titan Motorsports was having a steering column, rear hub and track rods replaced..


43 MS SoCo Select had regained the lead and then “a racing incident” led to an unexpected pit visit to have the “big foot” secured to the front bumper and a return to the race of Ayrton Senna.

98 Baron Racing were leading again from 4 ALPHA with an 18 sec cushion and a lap plus 9 sec over 43 MS SoCo Select (Senna) . 33 Q Racing (Adam Willis) were now in 8th place and 97 GP United were 10th.

We were now having a period of calm as the dry conditions reduced the number of off-track excursions and consequent damage. Then 98 Baron Racing came in with collapsed stub bearings and 23 POT Racing with an axle which was bent like a banana.

And then it rained again.

It was 77 Offline Racing “turn” to be brought back in the pick up.


43 MS SoCo Select ( Steven Welsh) in the lead with a lap plus 3 sec to 4 ALPHA (Chris Freeman)  and 8 BRM Stretton  (Ronnie Rowe)  at a  further 6 sec. Then 111 MS JSR(Mark Fothergill),44 MS JSR 2 (Karl North), 443 MS Lucas (Dan Crossley) ,98 Baron Racing ( Tom Campion) ,33 Q Racing (Mark Brown) ,58 DWS (Miles Murphy) ,77 Offline Racing (Chris Pedlingham) and 97 GP United

The race continued, in the dry. The gaps increased and decreased as the drivers changed and the tyres were ready for changing. At 7hrs 99 Modave (Caprasse Kavim had stub bearings fail and 11 B&B returned in the pick up truck.

From 10hrs onwards the teams began to change tyres, check oil and make any set up changes and it was fascinating to see the amount of co-operation in the pits between different teams as they pooled equipment and expertise to change quickly. One change I saw had all four wheels replaced and the oil checked simultaneously, not  quite F1 speed but much faster than the hand rotated speed brace of my time.

12 hrs    Halfway

43 ,4,8,98,111,44,33,77,97,99,115,443,888,58,66, 17, 1, 74, 5, 3

43 MS SoCo Select (Paul Wilkins) were improving their lead to 3 min 22 sec over 4 ALPHA (John Munday) who , in turn, had 3 min 44 over 8 BRM Stretton  (Jonte Beswick) and 2 min  24s over 98 Baron Racing (Lewis Walters).

111 MS JSR ( Sam Tugwell) had been striving all the way to break into these 4 “usual suspects” for the podium as their number was the race number of Jamie Stubbs, our team mate who died suddenly last year. This was an especially poignant weekend as last year it was this weekend that he collapsed at work and his problem was discovered. Also he was a mainstay of 43 MS SoCo Select which was also trying to win for Jamie.

The top Clubman team was 77 Offline Racing Offline with 12 min lead from 97 GP United , a team from Belgium and 99 Modave (Baleem Cedin, ) another Belgian team and 3 sec was 115 Team Keane (Danny Keane).

The top Hire team was 5 Ministry of Speed, 1 min 43 sec from 3 A la Kart, 6 Slam it on Pole.

The second half of the race was less frantic even though the pace was still at sprint/qualifying standard. The rain had gone away and looked like it would stay away and the red mist of overtaking (hence damage) seemed to have diminished.

Until 443 MS Lucas (Simon Ham) came in with the teeth stripped from their clutch drum and in their haste to get into the fray encountered an accident which resulted in another bent track rod.


18 hrs in    (6am)       1076 laps in

The front 4 had occupied these positions, but not necessarily in the same order, all through the race.

43 MS SoCo Select ( Daz) , 8 BRM Stretton (Charlie) , 4 ALPHA (Ozzy), 98 Baron Racing (Jezza) as well as the order for the race it was also the top 4 places in the Championship once dropped rounds had been stripped out.

8 BRM Stretton  were 9 sec behind 43 MS SoCo Select after 18 hrs and 13 pit stops with 4 ALPHA on the lead lap and 98 Baron Racing giving them 5 laps. 77 Offline Racing, 99 Modave and 97 GP United were the leading Clubmen and 6, 5, and 16 the leading Hire Karts.

20hrs      ( 8 am)

43 MS SoCo Select (Daz) was coming in , panic in the team. Run out of brakes fresh pads needed. As the kart entered the pit lane, nerves quietened and  the team moved like a well – oiled machine to replace the pads which had been using the backing material as friction pads. Since this was unexpected the brake draggers were being given a hard time until the other similarly equipped karts came in for pads and the punishing circuit was blamed for the wear.

43 MS SoCo Select (Senna) rejoined in 2nd and then set about regaining the lead. As well as giving the karts a hard time this twisty , high speed, bumpy circuit was also taking it’s toll on the drivers as they retired from their teams with bruised ribs or chest muscles in spasm. Truly an Endurance race.

Last session.

The teams had developed strategies to maximise their stints and therefore reduce fuel stops and this had gone out of the window for some with their emergency stops. The final 2 sessions were therefore at frantic pace , again, as teams tried to compensate for the changing fuel stop scenario’s , while everyone was knackered. With 2 hrs to go 43 MS SoCo Select were  2 laps and 14 sec, 8 BRM Stretton (Jonte)  2 laps and 23 sec, 4 ALPHA (Johnny) four laps in front of, 98 Baron Racing (Tom)    33 Q Racing (Adam)       44 MS JSR 2 ( Tim Oliver),  111 MS JSR (Sam)    77 Offline Racing ( Mark Smith)   99 Modave ( Fabio)  443 MS Lucas ( Tom McDonald)

The Clubman top 3 were  77 Offline Racing ,  99 Modave and  97 GP United as they had been for the last half of the race. Also the  Hire top 3 were  3 A la Kart, 6 Slam it on Pole, and 5 Ministry of Speed again as for the last half of the race.




1st                           2nd                        3rd                          4th                           5th      
43 MS SoCo Select     8 BRM Stretton      4 ALPHA                  98 Baron Racing        33 Q Racing

77 Offline Racing       99 Modave            97 GP United             888 Stretton BRM      66 Lambo

6 slam it on Pole        3 A la Kart            5 Ministry of Speed     9 KOKS A                55 Kart Attack

43 had a race that they led for most of the 24 hrs and eventually looked as though they had won quite comfortably, yet had spent more time in the pits than their close rivals. 8 BRM Stretton  are now making a habit of podium appearances and have a fully sorted team that is going to make the run in to the end of the Championship most interesting. 4 ALPHA are always hard , doughty fighters who finished a laudable 3rd but if some things had gone their way then the outcome may have been different, perhaps they should have persuaded their one-time driver Simon Bayliss to drive for ALPHA rather than BRM Stretton !. 98 Baron Racing so near yet not quite close enough and 33 Q Racing again, so near ______ .

In Clubman 77 Offline are proving to be the team to beat. 115 Team Keane would like to be that team but need to find an injection of pace to improve on their 5th Clubman. Meanwhile, Fabio’s team 99 Modave were running 77 close. The last podium place was taken by 97 GP United who almost destroyed their kart in a bid for this cup. 58 DWS were expected to do well but could only finish 7th . However, any finish was an achievement in itself as they covered an equivalent of 954 miles Lands End to John O Groats without a cupholder in sight.


Hire Karts

6 Slam it on Pole were persuaded to change their very rude and colourful injitial team name for something which could appear on a result sheet but they did know how to run an Endurance team and proved it with a win . 3 A la Kart and 5 Ministry of Speed are long time Endurance competitors and could be expected to to be near the front at the end, but nevertheless congratulations were deserved.

EPEC Championship   upto Rd 6             (so far,  drop 1 x 24hr and 1 x 6hr from 10 results)

1st                                 2nd                3rd                    4th                       5th      

43 MS SoCo Select          4 ALPHA         111 MS JSR        33 Q Racing          8 BRM Stretton 
316                               259                258                   242                      241

The organisers , Peter van Oord, were very helpful and co-operative. The burgers were the best I have tasted in an eating place – which was definitely, upmarket. The whole place was tidy and well ordered until the British came but we did our bit at the end to leave it as we found it.

Many thanks to Bob Pope, Dave Redding, Paul Franklin, Martin Howells, Paul Beatty, Kelvin Nicholls, Bob Hutchinson and the marshals for working tirelessly to make the event happen.


Selection of those taking part

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