Peu­geot UK backs multi-car en­try into Sil­ver­stone 24 Hour event Mclaren takes glory down un­der with Bathurst 12 Hour vic­tory

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.”

Mclaren 650S landed the big prize at Bathurst af­ter tight scrap

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