Businessman Graham Saul, owner of Cloud 9 Hosts in Hazel Grove, drove through the night in an exhilarating, tense and exciting 24 hour endurance motor race at Silverstone at the weekend.
The televised Hankook 24hr is the inaugural event in the 24 hour Touring Car Endurance Series at the world famous Silverstone track. It now joins the international endurance race scene for touring cars.
Over 70 teams signed up to the event and the race commenced on Saturday afternoon and finished on Sunday afternoon.
Graham was part of the Kinetic Racing 5 man team, each taking their turn in driving during the 24 hour race day and night.
Conditions were varied during the race with some tricky conditions Saturday night/Sunday morning in the pouring rain whilst Graham was out on the track.
But experience and driving wisdom ensured they stayed on track with minimum technical issues or accidents.
No stranger to the race track, Graham has raced at many venues across the UK and a regular at local Oulton Park.
“Its just an amazing experience to be on a world famous track competing in such an event.
“To think legends such as James Hunt, Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell raced this track and its place in motorsport history in the UK and the world is just amazing”.
During Graham’s night drive from 3am to 5am, conditions had changed, with rain and mist causing low visibility, but there remained the need to keep lap times to a minimum.
“The rain came down and created a very slippery driving surface whilst I was out on track in the early hours of the morning.
“As a driver you need complete visibility and your senses free of any distraction.
“It was raining, dark and there was a low lying mist on parts of the circuit.
“I had a few moments out there, a couple caused by avoiding other cars that had spun in front of me. We couldn’t afford to slow or change our strategy. We tried to keep our lap times consistent and manage fuel and tyres to reduce the number of pit stops”
A lost rear bumper caused by contact from another car and a melted fuse was all that was sustained during the intense and gruelling 24 hour race.
The team finished 28th overall and 11th in their class.