It was a huge effort for the team and their first 24hr race, in what is a totally scratch built car, I'll let Terry Lee tell you more in his own words"Now I am in from work (my proper job) I would like to on behalf of Tim and myself give a little report.
firstly and most importantly I would like to do the thank you's in no particular order.
My Crew - Jamie, Paul, Michael, James, Steve and Luke without all of them it would have been impossible they worked superbly as a team.
The people who fed and watered us - Tracey and Carolyn
The Drivers - Tim, Fred, Darren, Steve and Sam they persevered with poor visibility, were patient when we were fixing it, drove at a endurance pace when asked and kept the car between the white lines in appalling conditions.
All our wife's, partners and families - motor sport for us is not a part time hobby, it is a full time hobby and more. In the week before the race I spent the evening of my wedding anniversary at the workshop with Tim getting the car ready.
The marshals and recovery crews - without you we would firstly not be able to run and secondly not be able to continue when we breakdown.
The dedicated TVR supporters - don't know how many were in the garage at times but the support and cheers when we got the car out after problems is so encouraging especially when you are tired.
Dunlop and Sunoco - superb service, don't know how you managed to keep us all serviced but you did.
James and all the team at Britcar - what a brilliant event!!!
Hope I've not missed anyone...
Now a report.
Day qualifying was tight for time getting 5 drivers to do the necessary 3 laps in meant that they were told they had one shot at a quick time. A big ask. Night quali was hampered when the alternator failed which during daylight hours we could have coped with but at night running all the lighting meant that we had to quickly strap a bigger battery in the car and only do the minimum amount of laps for each driver.
Tim took the start of the race and soon made up places and was running a good pace when unfortunately he was clipped by a Seat who only saw the Mosler Tim was following when they lapped it, the car was damaged but was able to continue. The first problem came with the rain, the wiper motor had failed and we were coming in to clean the windscreen too often. We had a spare wiper motor Andy Holden had lent us so we decided to fit it. The existing motor and arm is buried deep within the dash so replacing it would have taken too long so we strapped the new one to the rollcage on the passengers side drilled a hole in the screen and modified the arm to fit the height of the screen and sent the car out again. It did not clean the screen as much as we would have liked but it helped and the drivers did their best with the slightly better visibility.
We started to make our way back up the timing screen when we lost contact with Steve. He was in the gravel and reported that he had rear suspension failure. When the recovery crew got the car back (thanks guys and girls) we saw it was only a bottom rose joint broken so an easy fix, it took more time to remove all the gravel from the car. Car was back on track and each driver took his turn at the wheel everyone pacing themselves and being careful not to put it in the kitty litter.
During Tims stint the car suddenly stopped and would not restart. Time to call on the services of another recovery crew. We plugged the computer into the car and it said that the 5volt feed to all the sensors was shorting out! we thought that we would have to either strip & check the loom for shorts or replace the loom with the one from Steve's car we had brought for spares. Before we did we thought we would try swapping the ECU, bingo! it fired up. ECU failure not come across that one before, still we were back on track, it was 8am and we were starting to think that we might just finish this race - dare we look at the light at the end of the tunnel of a 24hr race? 8 1/2 hrs to go.
The drivers continued putting in the laps and with 5 hrs to go Darren reported that the gearbox was making strange noises. After getting this far we were determined to make the finish so we decided to change the gearbox. Fortunatly for us Mark from Elite Gearboxes had lent us a spare box. This was done and the car was sent straight back out to continue the race (no sitting in the pits and waiting for the last few laps just to take the flag) After inspection of the removed gearbox we felt that it would have finished the race but better safe than sorry.
The Finish... 24hrs chequered flag, who would have though it? Most people thought we were mad to try to do it, even we didn't think we would finish. We wanted to be classified which meant doing 50% of the winners laps, we dreamt of doing 75% running, we actually made 80% and finished the race.
I still don't think it has sunk in and anyone who has done it will tell you it's a great feeling.
A week ago the car was still in bits and we were waiting for parts but, we did it!!
This time a finish was a win. Next time ... who knows? Finally, thanks Fred (GTF Race Cars). We truly could not have done it without you support. Fred paid the bills and made it possible for us to do this. " Once again Guys a massive well done, from everyone at the TVRCC
The TVR Car Club