Phil QuaifePhil Quaife and his Lapidus Racing team-mates took a commanding victory in the Barcelona 24 Hours (8-9 September) to secure the McLaren 12C GT3 its first win in a twice-around-the-clock endurance race.

Making his second appearance of 2012 for the Lapidus Racing squad after contesting July’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, McLaren Automotive test driver Quaife again shared with team boss Klaas Hummel, Adam Christodoulou and Tim Mullen at Circuit de Catalunya.

However the make-up of the grid standing between them and victory would be quite different at the Spanish venue, with the McLaren competing against a varied field that mixed touring and cup cars with a number of GT machines.

Mullen took the start of Saturday afternoon’s race from third on the grid and within half an hour of the green flag had worked his way into the lead.

The 12C went on to build a commanding advantage as the race moved into the evening hours before an unscheduled pitstop saw the team drop to third.

Undeterred, the Lapidus Racing crew pushed hard throughout the night hours in the hope of recapturing top spot. With the car running faultlessly, Quaife and his team-mates went on to do just that, moving back into the lead of the race as dawn broke over the Spanish circuit. From there they enjoyed a smooth run to a well-deserved victory, taking the chequered flag four laps clear of their nearest rivals after covering a distance just short of three-thousand kilometres.

As well as securing a maiden 24 hours triumph for the 12C GT3, the 26-year-old Briton and his team-mates also became the first drivers to win a 24 hour race for the British manufacturer since the McLaren F1 GTR took outright victory at Le Mans 17 years ago. The result formed part of a standout day of racing for the Woking firm, whose cars also triumphed in Formula 1, as well as French and British GT events.

Phil Quaife: “It was great to get the win here with Lapidus Racing and I’m thrilled to have helped the McLaren 12C GT3 secure its first victory in a 24 hour race. It was a remarkably clean run with no major incidents and the car did everything we asked of it, so I’m delighted with how the weekend went.

“This was the perfect way to follow Spa as we didn’t really get a chance to demonstrate what we could do there. Today we showed exactly what the 12C GT3 and this team are capable of. I’ve got to offer my congratulations to the whole Lapidus Racing crew as well – this was a huge step for them. They’re a new operation but they’re growing at a phenomenal rate. I know Klaas is proud of them and he too did a great job behind the wheel, so there’s a great deal to be pleased about.”

For more information on Phil Quaife, please visit www.philquaife.com.

Photo by Creventic/www.24Hseries.com