TOC MAINTAINS 100% PODIUM SUCCESS IN 24H SERIES

British professional racing driver Tom Onslow-Cole joined KPM Racing this weekend (6/7 September) at Barcelona 24 Hours in the Milltek Sport Mk6 VW Golf and the team maintained its straight run of podiums in the 24 Hour Series finishing in second place in the D1 class.

The race weekend started with qualifying on Friday and Onslow-Cole set the second fastest lap of the first session before handing over to his team-mates Paul White (GB), Javier Morcillo (ES) and James Walker (GB).

In the second of the sessions, night-time qualifying, each driver was required to complete one lap of the 4.65km long circuit. With lightning striking directly onto the track ahead, Onslow-Cole and his co-drivers completed their mandatory laps just before a hailstorm caused the session to be cancelled.

“The hail storm was incredible,” commented Onslow-Cole. “I was on track when the lightning started, it was an impressive sight but I was glad to be out of the car before the hail started.

“I’d have liked to have put our car on pole but, with a 24 hour race, it’s not the main focus so we used the qualifying session to fine tune some of the set-up ahead of the race.”

The race started at midday on Saturday and, as the fastest in qualifying, Onslow-Cole was first behind the wheel of the 2.0-litre Milltek Sport Mk6 Golf. Despite a great start and good speed through the corners, luck was not on the team’s side and on lap five the car was brought back to the garage after a lack of straight line speed caused from a boost pipe clip failure. Fixed and sent back out, Onslow-Cole was in fourth.

At the end of his two-hour stint, the 27-year old handed the car over to team-mate James Walker back in the class lead.

Despite their determination, the boost pipe issue came back to haunt the team several times causing a number of additional pit stops before midnight and costing them the lead. However, the team worked hard to resolve the issue and, in the second half of the race, they had a relatively clear run and were able to close the gap on the leader by 15 laps and take second place.

“It was good to be up on the podium with KPM and Milltek Sport for the third time this season,” continued Casio Edifice-sponsored Onslow-Cole. “They are a great team and the car has run faultlessly all year until the small issues in this race that cost us a lot of time. You’ve never seen a team work so hard and so well together when you bring the car in but they are also a lot of fun to race with.”

The five-round series, set to become a six-race championship in 2015 with the addition of the 24 Hours of Paul Ricard, started with the Dubai 24 Hours in January, where KPM Racing finished second and the 12 Hours of Mugello in March where it took the class win.

“I always enjoy the 24 Hours Series events and this one was no different. It’s fantastic news that it’ll be a championship next year – with three 24-hour races and three 12-hour races it will have to be considered one of the toughest challenges in the world of endurance racing.”

The 2014 series concludes with the 12 Hours of Hungaroring on 3/4 October.