McAttack Racing produced one of the greatest comebacks in British motorsport at Silverstone this past weekend (April 26/27/28) as they came from the back of the grid to win the Distrigo Parts Distribution C1 Racing Series 24-hour race.
Around the iconic full 3.67 mile Grand Prix layout of the Northamptonshire venue, the British Automobile Racing Club’s hugely popular one-make category wrote its name into the history books by fielding a stunning 99-car grid.
Eclipsing the previous record held by Britcar of 75 cars to make a race start, the C1 Racing Club served up a tantalising event which saw a total of 442 drivers compete over the course of the race.
Qualifying in darkness threw up plenty of entertainment on the Friday evening and it was to the McAttack Racing trio of Declan McDonnell, Joe Wiggin and Simon Walker-Hansell that set the fastest time of 3:02.035 to clinch top spot.
Having been the victors last year when the event was staged at Rockingham, the trio entered the weekend as one of the favourites and their pole position in qualifying had looked to cement their status.
However, post-qualifying checks flagged up that the car was underweight and that the team would have to start from the back of the grid in 99th. Starting 98th due to one team electing to start from the pit lane, the team slowly climbed their way up the ranks as the race progressed, breaking into the top 15 in the ninth hour.
With 17 hours having passed, the trio were soon into the top five and 90 minutes later they elevated themselves up into second place. Hitting the front in hour 14 of the race, Circuit Pro had become the team beat in the race as they established themselves as commanding leaders.
Simon Harrison, Patrick Watts and Timothy Hartland had qualified their machine in 15th during qualifying and looked to be on course to record a memorable victory. With the race entering its final stages, Circuit Pro crossed the line with two seconds to spare, forcing one more lap to be run.
Lapping much faster than the leaders, the McAttack trio managed to catch and pass Circuit Pro on the final lap to record a victory that is set to live long in the memory.
MSAR Old Hat Motorsport rounded out the podium but it wasn’t without encountering their own travails as the race wore on. Having started on the outside of the front row, the team of Callum Hutchings, Tony Hutchings, Daniel Bruce and James Keepin had to battle back from tumbling down the order early on.
C-Tron Racing and Team Merlin International rounded out the top five having both come close to challenging for the podium as well at one stage.
With a total of 99 cars and 24 hours worth of racing, the event wasn’t to be without incident with the safety car making a variety of appearances in the early stages, as well as through the night.
Philip Myatt, Founder of the C1 Racing Club, said: “The 24-hour race has been a great success. It hasn’t been without its accidents, but its hard to expect no contact with 99 cars circulating!
“It has been a great achievement for the club to now hold the record for the biggest grid that the UK has ever seen and my thanks must go to the 150 officials and marshals who have braved the tough weather conditions throughout the night.
“We’ve welcomed 442 drivers over the 24 hours, all with varying levels of racing experience, which will always make for an interesting race!”
For the full classification of results from every hour of the race, click here.
The Distrigo Parts Distribution C1 Racing Series are next in action on May 25/26 at Anglesey.