This weekend was Britcar Endurance Round 4 which was held as part of Convoy in the Park at Donington. It was a huge event with thousands of visitors coming to see the truck racing, live music, funfair and stunt shows. Britcar was held over the course of Saturday in the usual format consisting of one 50 minute sprint race for all competitors at midday and then two concurrent races of 50 minutes for the sprint category and 2 hours for the endurance later on in the afternoon.
RaceStream were in attendance, working again with our partners MacG Racing in order to test our latest prototype live streaming camera. Over the course of warmup, qualifying and two races, we streamed 161 minutes of footage to 92 viewers on YouTube. We experienced some issues during qualifying and the first race, but you don’t learn anything if everything goes to plan and the whole of Race 2 was streamed directly from the car without any issues (see the recording below).
Prototype RaceStream camera in the Taranis
After a brief warm-up at 9:00, qualifying was the first timed session at 10:20. With 32 cars on the grid, it was extremely busy on track and MacG team driver Jonny MacGregor traded back and forth for provisional pole with Ross Wylie and David Mason in the FF Corse-run Ferrari 458 GT3. With around 8 minutes to go, Jonny put in a personal best laptime of 1:06.149 to secure pole by a safe margin of almost 1 second and MacG Racing boxed the car to save it for the first race.
In Race 1, Jonny held the lead through the first corner, but ex-British GT driver Ross Wylie was right on his tail and ready to take advantage of any opportunity. Jonny’s task was to stay in front of the faster of the Wylie/Mason pair for as long as possible. This would give maximise his chances of catching up with the gentleman driver, David Mason, later on in the race. Things didn’t go quite as planned for the Ferrari, however, which suffered some damage to the left of the splitter and ended up retiring after a number of pitstops in attempt to fix the damage. After his mandatory pitstop, this left Jonny with an 11 second lead, ahead of John Seale’s Ferrari 488, which he then extended over the final few laps in order to take his first victory of the day.
With the Wylie/Mason Ferrari 458 GT3 repaired, race two was set to be another close 50-minute battle. A very slippery track due to oil left behind from the previous truck race even caused one of the KTM cars to spin on the parade lap. Despite this, Jonny managed to hold the lead going into the first corner and kept the car going in the right direction, gradually building up a lead over the competition. Meanwhile, Ross Wylie had started the race from the back of the grid and was quickly making his way through the field.
The live stream from the car showed Jonny clearly struggling with oversteer and laptimes across the board were 8-10 seconds slower than the earlier race, but were quickly dropping as the oil cleared. Around 10 minutes into the race, Wylie darted up the inside of the Taranis to take the lead as the two cars came into Coppice. The next 10 laps saw the MacG Taranis hot on the tail of the Ferrari as the pair worked their way through backmarkers, with Jonny ready to make the most out of any mistake up front.
Gradually, Jonny began to drop back due to some bad luck with the lapped cars and Wylie managed to build up a 10 second lead of his own. The slipperly track was still claiming victims, and it was decided to keep Jonny out for as long as possible to maximise the chances performing the mandatory pitstop under the safety car. Wylie pitted with around 20 minutes remaining, and Jonny stayed out to take the lead. One lap later, while the Ferrari was still in the pits, the safety car came out due to a stopped Ginetta on the exit of the Old Hairpin. It couldn’t have been better timing for MacG, as Jonny just managed to pass the safety car before it had left the pitlane.
Soon after, Jonny pitted, losing little time to the competition as the rest of the field continued at a reduced pace behind the safety car. A few laps later, when the safety car pulled back into the pits, Jonny was back the front of the pack having made up around 30 seconds due to the safety car and a very slick pitstop by the team. Despite the intense heat and the pressure of leading the restart behind the safety, Jonny managed to keep his cool for the final few laps to bring the Taranis in home for this second victory of the day.
Celebrating after two race wins