The only 24-hour motor race to take place in the UK this year will be the annual Citroen 2CV stand-off, which is to take place on 30-31 August. Does it also have the potential to be most entertaining 24-hour race in the world? We reckon it’s in with a shout.
It will be the 24th time the tin snails have been put through their day-and-night paces, with some established teams now being better organised than Le Mans back-markers (well, maybe). The sight of 30-plus 2CVs careering through the dark has more comedy appeal than anything that goes on at La Sarthe, too.
Despite the unlikely nature of the racers, the racing is serious stuff. Each of the 30-plus cars has either three or four drivers (whose ages range from teen to 70-plus), and is backed up by a support team that includes a refueller, manager and mechanics. There are 12 routine pit visits per car, and numerous unscheduled stops for tyre changes (especially if the weather is dry), collision repairs and even full engine swaps.
The cars are prepared with lowered and stiffened suspension, so the trademark body roll is eliminated, and the peel-back canvas roof is replaced with metal. We doubt many drivers will get to take advantage of the removable picnic seats, either.
Certain upgrades to the two-cylinder 602cc engine are allowed: shortened barrels, a lighter flywheel and a control camshaft are all included.
After ten years at Snetterton, the event moves to the scenic Anglesey circuit this year. Its coastal location could well add some mixed weather into the range of challenges the teams already face. It’ll be an eventful 24 hours…