Chris Harris at The Races: Bentley Continental GT3 & McLaren 650S GT3

Chris Harris at The Races: Bentley Continental GT3 & McLaren 650S GT3


Here are a couple of our favourite Chris Harris endurance racing moments. First up it’s the McLaren 650S GT3 race car at Silverstone. And then it’s the big one… Spa. And Chris is in a Bentley Continental GT3 race car for the 2016 24 hours… Series 28: Geneva Online Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.

hello and welcome to Silverstone it’s slightly cold but I’m excited because this weekend are racing in the Bronk and dd3 championship in that McLaren 650s gt3 car run by Jared 15 are my teammates Alex West and Chris Goodwin three tests one will be squad 24 hours later in the year ago so today is all about getting to know the carpet I’ve not driven in this car before it’s a bit engine I’m used to I’ve done five laps first thought was the Saturday test we ended up middle of the am class with Chris the quickest in the car but we had a few setup tweaks to make so that was the end of the what they called pre-qualifying which is the final test so it’s qualifying tomorrow which is three 15-minute sessions one for each driver how did that go we ran warm tires just one sanitize to this we’ve done a quick word bubble stint which is harsh for any Pirelli but especially arch here manager expectations were to try and do well in our class not get to work by the pro drivers I like to get a car set up on old tires and it feels great on old tires with imposing evil Don yeah but lovely Eureka moment when the fresh rubber keys into the asphalt using our vices I’m hoping while I’m racing the clown’s Alex went first and because there’s no refueling allowed he had the heaviest car even so he finished p1 in class and said the car parked pretty good I went next and managed to get stuck behind a Lamborghini the mighty flying laps but the still PYT class now this is perhaps a little unfair Oh mr. Goodwin because despite being our quickest driver he was also up against some very fast and drivers in cars whose balance of performance was more suitable to Silverstone he got down to a mid 202 second map but ended up third in class which was actually still a great result for our first event today and anyhow in the am class where you qualified us between my team the aim here is to finish the race not get caught up in some testosterone fly to the sharp end and last two laps this is after all a three hour endurance race for three drivers we’re in good shape I know is that something fiftieth wish doesn’t look great on the on the timing sheets so an avatar we can’t expect to beat the pro drivers the best grid in the world but across three drivers thing you’ve got your place so there is one very fast driver in one of the am Ferraris when they betrayal who is my teammate spot when you fall off here so now have good ears but I’m not sure these other two guys can stay with him so hopefully over the three drivers I think we’re in good shape half of good to me I might be just stuck going to lose in qualifying but before you stay calm stay on top of me of the race give him people’s we don’t get in trouble and spend as little time in the pits as possible and then we might have a charge of a result a doctor took the start and Silverstone was sunny and beautiful and the grid of fifty five cars with us 50th looks spectacular then yes a flat battery stranded Alex on the grid he had to be pushed into the pit line and start from there which would have left us a lap down you can always count on the pro drivers to misbehave and they Julie made a mess of the rolling start and had to complete another green flag lap which allowed Alex to catch up with the back we were back in the race so not quite as long inspected or necessarily wanted we had a flat battery on the start line so we had to start from the pit lane and there’s an extra formation app so that confuse the marshals whether they can let us out but they did and it’s got to the back of the pack and the best news so far but in the first set of the race Alex West weather perfect that will probably never happen to us again you see so we can’t have any well champagne on the back Alex wasn’t wasting time after a few laps he was at the 46 in making more moose then he held Peter in class admittedly a long way behind David Parral the Kessel Ferrari but he was close enough to let myself and Chris catch David’s teammates later in the race if he can keep this up we were looking at in the last win and then this which was pretty shoddy really fast from the rear by Mercedes which then whacked the front for good measure the right rear was punctured and by the time I looked back to the pigs that seemed that they look great over changing to those we lost over 10 minutes amazing job so glad those angel just get back out there and get some boats on you you know you were powerful first sector you could not Alex back back out it is time to slow so it’s clear the car wasn’t right before the race blonde Pam boss Stefan Rochelle told all drivers that if you ruin someone else’s race we will ruin your race accordingly Mercedes number 32 served a five minute drive through penalty that must be the longest punishment I’ve ever seen into motor racing give us our race back that’s all going off now I got to get in the car but we’ve been here once and sent off that you can hit again picture for Afro Macau and now I put my lid on so yeah it’s a bit too eventful but it’s the warm-up race from the worrying about innings I jumped in after an hour several laps off the back of the race and couldn’t do much the front was so badly damaged I had no front downforce because losing the faster outside turns is full in the last few laps of my stint the car began to understeer wildly through the left-hander’s at which point the main noise in the car was me whining like a child now in the radio sorry I pitted and there was fluid down the side of the car where a radiator have been not by the Merc fluid had been dripping onto the right front tire we had to retire the car which was hugely frustration so not the end we wanted after my stint seconds min we’ve retired the car I couldn’t anyway 24 hours and in that we love racing this car is gonna happen again soon this was really a test outing for the spa 24 hours and we actually learned a lot about the car the drivers and the competitors to avoid when we get to Belgium the spar 24 hours is the mecca of all gt3 category racing it’s the biggest most grueling race of all and it’s the one that everyone wants to win the most and by everyone I mean the full factory teams the ones with the cash this year I’ve been racing a Bentley Continental GT in the Blanc an endurance series with it has to be said makes success small errors and little bad luck went through a mid-table in the championship despite having led the class in each of the three previous races the spar 24 is both a standalone event and around the championship well three rounds actually because there are three sets of points available about six hours 12 hours and then the finish line bag all of them are wicked still within the championship team Parker racing run the Bentley for me it’s like spending time with your mates I’ve known them for years we spend lots of time laughing but we race hard so this is the boss here this is Stuart Parker he off team Parker racing what are we aiming for it we a me to just finish trundle round and then see what happens and where that puts us we’re gonna push a bit hard what we can do I think we’re good right for the part and is there any part of it that you enjoy the brow is furrowed when will you smile again how about for tomorrow see where they say it’s the hardest 24 hours there’s so much the planning weeks preparations to get here have a running total of about 26 people I’ve done lots 24 hour races this boy he’s the man and most important thing is we do smile if you come any don’t enjoy it there’s no point doing we want to enjoy it ultimately we want to be successful and but every year it gets harder it gets very good shout in in a very good shine we’re a car with a great through teaming driver we get a bit of luck on our side and a clean run now we will be there we’ll be doing well my teammates Derek Pierce David peril and Carl rose and blood had experience and pace and we knew the car was fast it’s a very difficult part getting out of bed because it’s a massive old boat for the packaging in there it’s really tight the seat is very tight it slow down the caves in the way have it bungee straps around about 44 the pitlane car stops three times much easier than going and trying to get to events through cultural scary the weekend starts on well with Tuesday I’ve raced it’s par for years but have never seen it so busy 65 entries crammed and hit four point three five mile circuit the free practice session that afternoon felt crowded running thousands of people turned up to see the cars it really did feel like a mini LeMond and he was better-looking cars because let’s face it a modern gt3 machine lets miles cooler than some hybrid they all look the same prototype qualifying proper was on the Thursday it really didn’t matter where we ended up because we weren’t fighting for an overall win we just wanted to win the amateur class in many ways you have to suppress from natural racing urges of an event mothers bar 24 pushing harder and going much faster rarely offset extra time spent in the pits in other words just need to pound around and stay out of trouble I’ll say that again now stay out of trouble this is my not very happy face there was a ropey qualifying car was under-seasoning over 300 and balanced but driving badly got stuck in traffic with 50 we should be below cool Nicorette happen Carlo we expect that but yeah that wasn’t my finest hour I have to say really struggled so on that Thursday we qualified 53rd from 64 cars nothing Stella but then we weren’t trying too hard and even though the car had too much understeer we all thought it wasn’t too bad but most of all it felt strong the Bentley is the most unlikely of all gt3 racers it’s a vast lump of metal but the ton removed from the street car before M Sport set about place in the center of mass as helpfully as possible it weighs around 1,200 80 kilograms dry the v8 has been completely repositioned behind the front axle line yes it’s technically made engined and it has enough downforce to corner at two g’s it’s a 550 horsepower monster not the newest car on the grid but with the balance of performance system it’s sort of very fast package what balance and performance you ask well depending on your viewpoint it’s either quite a rigorous system designed to equalize the performance of gt3 cars and keep the grids full of interesting supercar shapes or it’s something for racing drivers to whinge about on a minute-by-minute basis basically eg go slowly one race the authorities give you a larger intake restrictor and some more ponies for the following race Friday afternoon with the top 20 shootout proper race car theater out lap flyer inland only one chance biggest balls wins now what you need to know about the spar 24 is that most of the factory teams are so obsessed with winning that they will sacrifice winning the actual Blanc pan championship it’s called sandbagging deliberately going slowly and snagging some extra performance for the next race Mercedes have been the subject of much pit lane gossip all week because it’s new GTS wasn’t quite showing the pace people expected now you’d have thought that if Mercedes was playing it a bit cute it might try and be a little bit subtle when it deployed the full F alte bath well it judy bagged pole position and that raised a few suspicious eyebrows but then locking out 2nd to 6th as well did slightly smack of taking it well the balancer the following morning the scrutineers decided they had been taking them not through sandbagging though but an illegal ignition timing setting so all the mercs were lobbed to the back of the top 20 howdy inherited default position the factory Bentley number 8 car was third the other team parker car and the pro was an eighth and the other faculty continent it was tenth in an effort to have a decent spread of Bentley shaped cars at both ends of the grid we lined up 53rd but remember quali is nothing in a race as attritional at the spa 24 hours this was my first spar 24 I’ve done ten Nurburgring 24 hour races and thought I knew how punishing long distance racing could be I was about to be sent back to school that is the back of the grid this is almost the back of the grid it’s not a problem it’s a 24-hour race you don’t win it in qualifying you study don’t win it in the first hour we need to get on with this now we need to truck round this is all about spending a small amount of time as possible in the pit lane schedule stops only that’s how you do well tirana trim two tents here go flat through there will make no difference whatsoever we actually have to just stay out of the pits the atmospheres spot on all the weather forecast said it wasn’t going to rain the skies suggest otherwise so it’s proper spa a lot of people here it’s a well supported event it’s really really cool race you can tell I’m quite happy I want to get onto the racing now because we’ve spent days building up to this we could get on every one we do the same work I’m just the most scared one a good one Carl took the start and managed to control his racer instincts and avoid trouble other people weren’t as careful he pitted after an hour and I took over then the mayhem began at the time Kevin Estrella emerging from the pit lane to all the flag for this monster shunt but in this she could done the barrier repair took close to 1hour veggetti Bharatha tank fuel in the Bentley so I stayed in the car splashed and – – went back out this is brutal racing / having an AM badge on your backside marks you out for zero tolerance from the pro cars you like to think you can just tumble around but the reality is you have to push just to not get caught up in other people’s accidents it’s the most exhilarating racing I’ve experienced over fifty third and seventh in class when I jumped in some lucky breaks clever strategy from our engineer rich and good pace number thirty-nine third floor and first in class this was looking very very promising it’s quarter past eight 40:24 amma got in the car many hours ago and did about 3540 minutes and there was a big safety car period lasted million hour because a portion of Ferrari bitsu clothes and currently at the top of the roof and that dented barriers they had to replace the barrier that took ages so I stayed in for the hour of safety cop car feels great same set of tires so we were a bit far marginal to assembler management well he managed to locate got in position 53 came in position 33 and p1 in class she’s got a truck on now that won’t congested fumble alone we’re quick in the bits but you want to be quick that we do want them where we want to block them girls we’re so massively he’ll be asleep around tell me these cars do not but absolutely spectacular smashing their way around what must be the best circuit for racing now all we had to do was keep the amour position behind us and not crash whoops Derek got it wrong going until a calm and confirmed how strong the Benjamin it took an hour to get it back to base and fix the bodywork it’s at this point you have to ignore the voices in your head telling you any kind of result is impossible in a race like this anything is possible as proved by Dave could be planned in and immediately start assessing very fast lap times forget our position now forget two hours time even sixteen hours ahead you have to concentrate on that final hour get there without losing any more time and you just never know the news is not necessarily good with McCowan running but we’re down at the bottom with 13 laps down or something we’re going to carry on be plucky and British Bentley like run yeah we were p1 across referred to be overall in our not so difficult to be positive at this moment but it’s endurance racing got to keep going now and hope everyone else was a terrible time unless they were terrible time I was in the car was magnificent magnificent amazing experience but I’ve been lying one bit of everything other than that at the moment it’s going to giving myself up let me tell you the nature of the beast you get in the car you’re 58 you pound around that you’ve done a great job two hours you get out in your yeah that’s what happens when you’re several laps down look we’re clearing them back and there is still technically half a day to go I was very demoralized earlier he thought I was down but the reality is there’s one circuit on the planet that you’ll pound around in a Bentley GT car with the knowledge that we’re not gonna get a result in this one Spa is astonishing Rashomon the entry devotional is blowing the headlights pointed the wrong way they need absolute guess they’re doing under 40 miles an hour some people appear to be faster it I’m not let’s just keep pounding round so after she’s a right old battle bus she had to stop for another wiring loom a dot lost in that way logical damage to that headlight was working been hit left-hand side I wasn’t him Apogee business but the vehicle is resembling a Kingston Jamaican taxi [ __ ] rock or more races my double stint in men’s climb out if you’d asked me what it’s like to be pushed into a spin at 110 miles an hour between a source and a Rouge before the race I’d have said I have no intention of ever finding out now I’ve done it I can tell you it’s terrifying the front and rear touched the wall somehow it ended in a perfect 360 but the car still took 40 minutes to repair there’s no TV coverage of the incident sadly but the circular safety cameras did capture it Tim Bob Stuart Parker went to see that footage I’m not quite sure how you’re still alive he said looking worryingly disappointed rollercoaster ride we started in I think 55th position and after a lot of hours we’re in 53rd position we got up to 33rd and we were leading the class and then there again a whoopsie we fought our way back a bit and then I got taken out by a Ferrari and I was really down being and we’ve got to carry on in Ireland to the point of risking life and limb but now I’m in the spirits of it you just got to get down and dirty and try and finish the event Avenue and wherever we finished I think we’ll have a sense of some sort of achievement team pocketing an amazing job the whole carriage is held together by rivets cable ties and Gaffa tape and in fact there’s a gap then murders every day ago we ran our review so much Derek at the wheel oscillated front downforce without my pace because there’s no flex left on the front area this little bit broken in the rear of Wingull maggot now we’d really were struggling to see what was possible in the poor vendors were luckily gone 15 rounds with the t-rex we continue to pound around though David going faster than ever but now clinging to the hope that other people fell off mechanical issues and then with five hours to go a cloudburst and car was left with nowhere to hide even on full wet weather tires piano playing hit the barrier heart then that’s the most grueling 20 hours or 90 and 1/2 hours I’ve spent at a racetrack it’s over for us better off today tricky in the wet so I just wasn’t meant to be was it we have the whoopsie we’ve ended up in this position for the front of the car is damaged now see park boys turn amazing job these are emotional roller coasters because you feel euphoric but it’s good so down and rejected when it’s bad you almost need three days off for that your brain reset after it still loved racing cars but endurance racing is spa when the rain suddenly appears out of nowhere like it did just then again bye-bye this is an extraordinary event until the very closing stages it looked like a factory Bentley might actually win then the weather intervened again and a BMW m6 won a BMW that just wasn’t supposed to happen but there is no stripped at Spa

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