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Round 7 of the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship at Snetterton 300 in August turned out to be all about heat.

During Saturday practice the car was working well, but by midday the temperature had reached 32°C and this was causing some concern with the teams. The MacG Racing crew were running their new Albins transmission and some adjustment of the cooling system was required to achieve the desired running temperature. It was also the first proper session the Team had to gather data on the new car setup which had been developed during the mid season, which the Team utilised – feedback from the drivers was very positive at the end of the day.

SMT MacG Racing Ultima GTR

The Team decided to carry out minimal laps in qualifying in order to maximise the time between the qualifying session and the race. MacGregor went out first, and put in a comfortable 1:54.9 before handing over to Jamie Smyth, who went out just as the session’s first red flag was shown. Upon the restart, Smyth headed straight back out, but heavy traffic scuppered any chances of a good lap, so the team decided to call it a day and focus on the race. 5th on the grid was achieve, behind two Moslers, the works Ginetta GT3 and the SB Race Engineering Ferrari 430.

SMT MacG Racing Ultima GTR

At the start of the race, air temperatures were above 30°C. The Ultima GTR started in fifth place, quickly moving up to fourth past Paul White in the Azteca Mosler at the start, where it held if off for a couple of laps before the Mosler got back past. MacGregor held fifth apart from a brief period in fourth before losing fifth place to the beautiful Motionsport Ferrari 458 on lap 13. One of the class 3 Ginettas dropped oil on the track and a safety car out on lap 17 following a spin; the Team took the opportunity to pull Jonny in for a pitstop and to take on a churn of fuel. The pitstop proved to be mistimed, as the safety car headed in just as MacGregor did, and Jamie dropped to twelfth position when he rejoined, briefly battling a misfire caused by heatsoak during the stop. During Smyth’s stint the SB Race Engineering Ferrari emerged in the pit lane dragging a very expensive bumper behind it, when shortly after the Team Holden TVR Sagaris burst into flames after some fuel spilt out of the fuel churn onto the brake disc, creating chaos in the pits whilst the fire was put out.

Jamie pulled in fourteen laps later to swap drivers after making some inroads into the cars in front, the Team brimmed the Ultima’s tanks and sent Jonny out, rejoining in fifteenth place.  Jonny fought through the field, putting the Ultima into eleventh position before another incident caused the safety car to be deployed. MacG Racing swapped drivers on lap 43 under a safety car; Jamie took over and rejoined in twelfth position. The Ultima required a bump start as the starter had overheated - helped by the Topcats guys next door, the Ultima rumbled back down the pitlane.

SMT MacG Racing Ultima GTR

Jamie came back into the pits after six laps, suffering with heat stroke due to the intense heat in the cabin. The crew refuelled, and sent Jonny out to finish the race, rejoining in fifteenth position.

Near disaster! On lap 57, MacGregor spun the Ultima on a patch of oil and stalled it. Although the car restarted, the marshals insisted on it being towed back to the pits. The Ultima was fine, a little grass stained and leaking coolant, so after a quick once over we sent it out again. The team cautiously monitored the temperatures but they were rapidly dropping and ascertained that the leaking coolant was almost certainly because as it had been idling for several minutes and overheated / used the pressure relief radiator cap. We rejoined in P16 but as soon as the safety car was back in the pit lane, it was sent out again and we moved to P14.

SMT MacG Racing Ultima GTR

A further safety car due to Jensen Lunn stopping out on circuit in his Chevron and requiring medical attention, and MacGregor followed the chain of cars round for almost 30 minutes, with the race restarting with just a couple of minutes to go. On lap 62, we moved to P12 upon the restart, crossing the finish line after 65 gruelling laps of the Snetterton 300 circuit.
The Ultima had successfully completed a gruelling three hour race, which had seen several cars out through mechanical breakdown and fires; it was clear that the development program that the Team had undertaken during the mid season had paid off…next stop Silverstone for the 24hr…


Gallery of te event available here.

Official Britcar race report can be found here.

Just Doors UK sponsoring MacG Racing
Millers Oils Motorsport Nanodrive from MacG Racing
CSF Radiators from MacG Racing
Braid Wheels
Wavetrac Differentials from MacG Racing
Quantum Racing Suspension sponsors MacG Racing
Albins Performance Transmissions sponsors MacG Racing
Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes from MacG Racing

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