September 20, 2012

Mission Motorsport and Nissan ready to do battle at Britcar 24 Hours

The Mission Motorsport team that will take on the 2012 Britcar 24 Hours were on track at Silverstone on Monday making final preparations for this weekend's race. The all-amateur crew took advantage of Nissan's GT Academy instructors to hone their newly acquired
driving skills ahead of what will be one of their biggest racing challenges so far.

During 'Racecamp', the final stage of GT Academy, the competitors are put through their paces in a wide range of tasks to test their on-track skills. Later, the winners are put through further tests as they learn their craft prior to their prize drive at the Dubai 24 Hours. It is this expertise that has been applied to the soldier's training regime.

Major James 'Jim' Cameron, Tpr James 'Jimmy' Gillborn and Sgt Gary 'Gaz' Dunning - three of the four racing soldiers - were at Silverstone on Monday to practice pit stops, overtaking, pursuit driving and anything else they might need in their armoury this weekend.  The fourth team member - L/Cpl Martyn 'Copey' Copleston - was absent as his regiment is preparing to go back on operations so time off work is hard to come by. He does have leave booked for this weekend though!

The Mission Motorsport team will compete in the production class in the No.93 Nissan 370Z with a series production engine and modified gearbox. Also joining the team at Silverstone was Crew Chief Tony Compson, an ex-Royal Marine, who will keep the boys in line throughout the Britcar event. The No. 93 Nissan will be driven and crewed by Mission Motorsport with advice from Nissan's RJN Motorsport team.

The team also has the support of Paralympic Gold Medallist, Pam Relph, who came along on Monday to meet them. Pam was on an Army scholarship and heading for a career in the Royal Engineers before arthritis put a stop to that. Introduced to rowing in 2010 she immediately excelled and just a couple of weeks ago won her gold medal in the mixed coxed four rowing at Eton Dorney.  Pam can teach the boys a thing or too about teamwork and competition and was also pretty handy in the track-prepared Nissan GT-R.  She will be back at the weekend to support the team.

"This has been an incredibly compressed period of training," said Major James Cameron. "We really have pushed the boundaries of what's possible. Many people felt what we are doing to be unachievable but I am very proud of the standard the guys are at now. They are nervous but they are also confident that they have got what it takes for this race. I know they have."

"These guys are doing great work on and off the track and it is a pleasure to work with them," said Darren Cox, General Manager of Nissan in Europe. "Most big companies talk about giving something back and this was a great opportunity to do just that, although I can't help but feel we are getting just as much out of this ourselves. Everyone involved from the Nissan side loves this project and we must admit we are pleased to see the Nissan 370Z doing another 24 hour race.

"We have been very proud of the progress made by our three GT Academy graduates this year," he continued. 'But the Mission Motorsport guys make us realise what effort and dedication really are. They are already heroes but if they make it to the finish of the Britcar 24 Hours the sense of pride felt by everyone involved will be immeasurable."

The 24 hour race gets underway at Silverstone this Saturday at 3:30 PM.


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