McLeod preparing Astra for swansong 24 Hour race
Ryan McLeod’s HSV VXR will compete in its final 24 Hour event at Silverstone in the UK next month.
After entering the car in 24 Hour races at Dubai, Silverstone and Cataluyna over the past three years, McLeod has decided to upgrade his race equipment for next year, but wants to give the VXR a competitive send off at the Britcar Silverstone 24 Hour.
McLeod and production car racer Jake Camilleri will compete in the car’s final 24 Hour event, while the team is currently searching for two further co-drivers.
The heavily-modified Astra has served McLeod and a variety of co-drivers for three years, but McLeod says that the car’s program has come to an end.
“This is the last race that we set to do in the car. We’re hoping that it culminates in a good result,” McLeod told Speedcafe.com.
“The intention of this car’s program was always to do the three races (Dubai, Silverstone, Cataluyna). We’ve done them all, and now we are looking for a strong result in its last 24 Hour race.
“We want to attack the race with more vigour. The last couple we’ve done, we’ve been learning the car. This time, we want to go for the result. Based on that, the driver line-up will be chosen accordingly, so we’re speaking to some people over in the UK and a few back here in Australia.”
McLeod’s HSV VXR has enjoyed a number of strong performances over the past three years, with the car running as high as fifth at the last event at Silverstone before being comprised by overheating.
McLeod says that a brake and cooling system revision will aid the car’s performance.
“We were on target to finish fifth last year, but had a problem with the cylinder head gasket,” McLeod said.
“That race was held on the hottest October day the UK has had on record. It was extremely hot and we hadn’t catered for the high temperatures.
“We’ve compensated for the heat now and, when we ran the car at Phillip Island (for the 6 Hour), we had no problem.”
After the Silverstone race, the car will return to Australia to compete in the invitational class at the Bathurst 12 Hour. From there, it’s future is undecided.
“The car doesn’t really have a category that it slots into,” McLeod said.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do with it. There’s plenty of places to race it. It’s more of a Sports Sedan now than anything.
“As far as 24 Hour racing goes for us, we’ll look to upgrade in a more competitive, outright car.”
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Race Guide.