In July 2017, the team once again entered the fantastic event that is the 25H of Spa Fun Cup endurance race. This epic race took place in early July and, as usual, attracted a huge grid of Fun Cup cars from across Europe and the globe.
This year saw the team race in an Evo3 2L car which the majority of the field now run. These cars are standard across all mainland Europe Fun Cup championships so it was always going to be a huge battle to compete with those European teams who have been running these cars for a few years already.
The event, whilst being a 25H race, is very similar to others like the Le Mans 24H where it spans across a number of days - usually starting on Thursday morning and running right through to the conclusion of the race itself late on the Sunday afternoon.
The team this year was made up of John Gilbert, Sarah Reader, Christian Dick and Scott Mansell, all of whom have bundles of previous experience of endurance racing, including Fun Cup. As always, Belgium threw a few curve-balls with the weather which made use of the test sessions interesting to say the least. Getting a good dry set up wasn't easy but the guys in the garage worked hard over those sessions to put the car in a strong place ready for the race; trying to find a compromise that meant, when the inevitable rain did come during the race, the car was still good enough to keep the pace.
In the formal free practice session before the car, the car was 9th out of 116. We were very happy with that and it gave us a great baseline to work from. We qualified inside the top 20 which gave us an excellent chance of pushing through the field in the early stages of the race.
As always, this event is a race of attrition and there's lots of luck involved alongside the huge amount of work that the team put in to get the car to the end. There's rarely a car that gets through the race without some sort of an issue to sort out at a point in time and this was no different for us.
The guys kept the car running well and as the sun came up on day 2, we were still running strongly. We had a couple of relatively minor issues over the coming hours that, on their own, didn't amount to much but lost us a few laps.
Still pushing hard at the end, the car came home in a fantastic 22nd position out of the 116 starters and was presented with the trophy for being the first organiser-officially classified UK team home, giving us a further trophy to add to the previous 1st place in 2014.
It's a gruelling event, tough on the team and the drivers but hugely rewarding. To come back with a trophy made all the hard work worthwhile.