Words by Dion Price
Performance motoring and fundraising for charity have never been the greatest of bedfellows, major events such as Car Fest do a great job however. For the general public, charitable activities seem to revolve around personal endeavours such as marathon running, bike rides or sky diving. The costs involved in motorsport, or just driving in general, are usually too high for it to be leveraged as a significant vehicle for the generation of charitable funds, so what is a petrol head to do if they are determined to combine their passion with a desire to contribute to the greater good?
Well, a solution presented itself to this problem on February 28th of this year as over 130 people set about recreating the Nurburgring 24h endurance race on professional grade racing simulators. The Race Hut in Slough was the selected venue for this unique challenge, with eleven teams settling into a selection of VLN spec GT3 racing cars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Chevrolet and of course ‘Ring fan favourites, BMW and Porsche.
At midday the flag dropped on the rolling start and the field roared into life as it attacked both the modern F1 circuit and the fearsome Nordschleife sections of the track. With a huge range of experience and talent in the field the teams quickly settled into their own rhythms. A series of great battles ensued throughout the order. Out in front, the guys from the Lamborghini Owners Club UK were trading blows with Race Hut regulars, team Amanda in the mighty ‘Vette.
In the midfield, Team Motorstars, my team (The Male MenoPorsche) and the team from Prodrive UK were consistently changing positions throughout the entire race. The competition was so tight that, 22 hours into the race all three of these teams remained on the very same lap.
The second half of the field contained some fantastic characters that personified the event, from one of the guys flying in from Vegas just two hours before the start, to a racer that didn’t actually hold a road licence, the level of commitment was a fantastic sight to behold.
While the teams were inside lapping the mentally exhausting track, a few real life supercars were periodically departing the venue car park for swift passenger rides around the local area in return for a small donation to the event charity of choice, The Brain Tumour Charity UK.
As the teams drove through the night and into the light of dawn on Sunday morning it was still anyones race at the front of the field with Lamborghini Club UK putting in some stunning lap times in an effort to claw back the lead from Team Amanda. Despite repeatedly breaking the event lap record, Lamborghini UK couldn’t quite manage to topple the venue regulars and Team Amanda stormed to victory as the flag fell at mid day. The MenoPorsche came in 3rd with our very own Team Motorstars drifting its way into a very respectable 4th.
The combined distance traveled at the event was over 19,000 miles by the teams but most importantly the event raised over £9,000 for an incredibly worthy cause.
With the smell of burning rubber still lingering from the supercars leaving the Race Hut car park, messages were already being exchanged demanding that this become an annual event.