Podium Finish for Team Rebellion
Podium Finish for Team Rebellion. Team Rebellion were delighted to finish in 3rd position and on the podium in only their second Citreon 2CV 24 hour race.
The 2017 Citreon 2CV 24 Hours delivered just as much drama as it’s always done, this time at the return to the MSV Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” The preparation for this year’s 2cv 24 hour race had started before the 2016 race had even ended and continued until the starting lights went out with last minute engine changes and preparations.
The whole event is a real show of team effort with the people behind the scenes playing vital roles that enable us the drivers to race in the car for 24 hours with very minor problems. The paddock during the race was the usual mix of team members asking other competitors for spares to keep the cars going following unforeseen incidents, usually foam air-filters catching fire.
The great thing about an event like this is that anything can happen. But at the end of the day its all about good preparation and a fair dose of lady luck along the way.
Luck always has a large part to play in motorsport, some teams had three engines changes, some teams even more and some less, always good to better your odds and prep is the key – and that is exactly what Team Rebellion had done over the past twelve months to ensure that reliability was there to last the whole 24 hours.
This race also has the invited Mini Grand 24 cars, which are 998cc classic Mini’s. These have been racing at the 2CV 24HR event since 2012 and lap within a second of the 2CV’s and certainly it makes for a fantastic spectacle of classic cars competing over 24 hours. This years race had the Mini’s completing 680 laps whilst the wining 2CV completed 673 laps. The fastest Mini lap time was 1:49.365 compared to the fastest 2CV lap time of 1:50.832 and that’s not bad considering the 2CV’s only have a little 602cc engine.
After a frantic qualifying sesssion, we finished well placed in 3rd position within the 2CV section – a good effort by all of the team and a decent starting position considering this was only our second ever 2CV event.
The evening saw final preparations made before hte race start the following day including an engine and gearbox change (and back to the original one!) and set-up changes.
Come race day, the race started and immediately, we moved up into second position and on the tail of the leading 2CV and mini’s. Dratfing is key in 2CV racing – this alone can gain you up to four seconds a lap! We sat behind the leader, regular exchanging passes with the Mini’s up until mid-way through the first 1.5 hour stint, when we slipped back to 3rd going into Brundle when someone came down the inside. I held on round the outside, knowing that I would then have the inside going into Nelson. Coming out of Nelson, still side by side, the lead car got caught up behind a back-marker, and while still side-by side, and touching wing mirrors, we made a move for the lead down the inside of the Bomb Hole. We managed to keep the lead for the next forty minutes, up until the first round of pitstops.
While we thought we had been doing well leading the race in only our second 24hr event, others had been conserving fuel and using the draft behind us, which meant that they were able to run for slightly longer – a tatic that we would learn for later in the race!
Racing through the rest of the afternoon and evening, we slipped down to our lowest position of the race in tenth. A sterling effort by our other drivers Tom Burgess, Phil Jose and guest driver, along with myself meant that we found ourselves in 3rd position overall when my final stint of the race was approaching.
Over the last hour of the race, it was all about getting home – we had no real chance, baring mechanical failure to catch the two cars ahead of us, and in turn, unless we had any issues with our car, we would not be caught for the final podium position.
Despite some apprehensive looking faces on the pitwall for the final hour, as we were still setting some impressive lap times, we finished in third position – a great team effort by all.
Our 2017 race partners were:
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