Peugeot UK backs multi-car entry into Silverstone 24 Hour event Mclaren takes glory down under with Bathurst 12 Hour victory
Tekno Mclaren won the Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia last weekend by a narrow 1.3-second margin.
Shane van Gisbergen, Alvaro Parente and Jonathon Webb scored the win in the Intercontinental GT Challenge opener aboard a 650S GT3.
The car ran at the sharp end of the field all race, with V8 Supercars ace van Gisbergen establishing a comfortable lead during his first stint and lowering the Mount Panorama circuit record in the process.
However, the New Zealander nearly lost the race by speeding while exiting the pits for his second stint and picking up a drive-through penalty. Parente then had to reset the Mclaren’s electrical system during the night. That dropped the car to third, 1m 40s off the lead. But a key strategy call to stop for fuel during a safety car period helped the crew back to the front of the field as their rivals stopped later.
Nissan was the closest challenger, with last year’s winners Katsumasa Chiyo, Florian Strauss and Rick Kelly aboard its GT-R. Chiyo again put on a stunning late-race stint to finish just 1.3s shy of the Tekno Mclaren.
Brits Matt Bell, Steven Kane and Guy Smith helped Bentley to third, having lost a podium at the final corner last year. Both Continental GT3S suffered tyre issues during the endurance event. expected to be involved across the two cars.
Bedford Autodrome instructor Philpot won the French firm’s 208 GTI Racing Experience in 2013 and was rewarded with a seat in the 208 GT for the Nurburgring 24 Hours that year. He hasn’t raced competitively since, but did take part in last year’s Race of Champions event in London.
“I’ve stayed in contact with Peugeot as an ambassador since 2013 and any time they need a driver they call me,” said Philpot. “I heard that Team Altran was planning to enter the Silverstone 24 Hours so I got straight on the phone. It’s massively exciting as the race is for touring cars only this year so we can fight for the outright victory, and that’s what’s appealing for Peugeot UK.
“The 208 GT is a beast of a car. It shares the chassis, differential and 1.6-litre engine block with the GTI road car, but aside from that everything is bespoke. The engine produces up to 320bhp, which is a huge amount for a 1.6. It was built alongside and shares a lot of engineering with the R5-spec 208 T16 rally car. It’s great fun to drive and I can’t wait to get back out with the team.”