EB Motorsport enjoyed a good day’s racing at the recent Donington Historic Festival, running our FIA-papered Porsche 911 3.0 RS in the 1000 km endurance race.
The Donington 1000 km was part of the 2015 Donington Historic Festival. Organised by Swiss-based Historic Motor Racing, the race is one of a series of endurance events run by the company all over Europe. The organisers pack a lot of activity into one very busy day on track, with scrutineering and qualifying in the morning, then a few hours to prepare the car before a 2.5 hour race in the late afternoon.
Qualifying went well. On a grid packed with prototypes, the single exception (our car in an invitation class) went 14th quickest on new post-historic tyres that have only been tried on our yellow 911 RSR for a couple of races so far. While the compound might be a bit slower than previous rubber, the tyres are huge, so the increased width gives excellent grip.
The race was slightly delayed, which gave time for the weather to change and the rain to move in. We split the race into two equal parts: James took the start and raced hard on a very slippery circuit, bringing the car up to seventh by the time of his pitstop.
With 100 litres of fuel in the tank at the start and the lack of grip keeping lap times and fuel consumption lower than expected, we took a calculated risk on that first fill being enough to finish the race, avoiding the mandatory 3-minute minimum time for a fuel stop.
As Mark started his stint, the rain stopped and a dry line began to appear. The pace hotted up: 911 lap times falling from the high 1:30s in the wet to 1:17.9 at one point: quicker than qualifying. Ambient temperatures stayed cold, so the track stayed damp and slippy beyond the racing line, leaving a treacherous no-mans-land for anyone who had to go off line to make progress.
After just over two hours in total of racing, Mark had no choice: he pitted for fuel as the light came on. As we then had to spend three minutes stopped in the pits, it cost us the best part of two laps and we were out of the top ten.
As the race entered its final lap, our garagemate – the beautiful Lola T70 – passed a backmarker on the damp Craner Curves while fighting for the lead, lost traction and hit the wall at high speed. When the car was brought back, it was in a sorry state, but owner/driver Leo was safe and well. At times like this, no one worries where they’ve finished: it’s just good to get home in one piece and live to fight another day.