It was always scheduled to be the our first event of the year but it ended up happening at in mid July rather than early April! Firstly we have to say what an amazing job Peter Auto did in organising the event to safely go ahead under the current circumstances and that even with the social distancing and mask wearing, it was great to be back racing again.
We went to the Dix Mille Tours supporting two cars. The first being a 1964 Porsche 901 driven by Andrew Smith and Olly Bryant and the second being a 1974 Porsche 3.0 RSR driven by Richard Hywel-Evans. The 901 was running in the 2.0L cup and the RSR in Classic Endurance Racing 1.
In the 2.0L Cup qualifying Olly Bryant put the car second on the grid by just 0.03 of a second behind BTCC ace Rory Butcher in a Tuhill Porsche 911. For 2020 Peter Auto had changed the regulations that the starting drivers qualifying time would be used and this meant that Andrew Smith's time was still quick enough for the 901 to start from pole position.
At the lights Joe Twyman got a slight jump on Andrew but it was Andrew who was latest on the brakes into the first corner and maintained the lead. Andrew and Joe had a great battle throughout the first half of the race but Andrew managed to keep Twyman behind him and came in to pit early in the window. Olly Bryant jumped in and then proceeded pick up the pace from his out lap and was now in 8th place. Right towards the end of the pit window the safety car was deployed which really helped anyone in the pits for there driver change. Unfortunately for us the safety car didn't pick up the leader and picked up the cars from 5th position back. This enabled the lead four cars to gain an entire lap on the rest of the field. Eventually we were waved through for the safety car to pick up the leader but then the safety car came in leaving the second pack of cars three quarters of a lap down. Olly then proceeded to put in blistering lap times and exchanging fastest laps with Rory Butcher who was just behind him on the road. Olly managed set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap and brought the car home in 5th. A shame with the safety car but that's racing!
It was the RSR's first time out for the new owner and everyone got to grips with the car very quickly. In qualifying Richard and Andrew qualified 6th in class and 2nd RSR. Richard started the race and at the start there was a crash just in front of him involving a T70 and a GT40. Richard did well to stay out of trouble but the safety car was deployed to clear things up. At the re-start Richard began the climb a few places. Richard pitted at the end of the pit window handing over to Andrew and he began to put in faster and faster lap times and make up a few more places. At the chequered flag they finished 17th overall, 5th in class and the first RSR over the line.
Overall it was a great weekend with all cars running trouble free in very high temperatures and both cars showing really good pace.
Now we are looking forward to Monza in September.
All photo credits: Mathieu Bonnevie