CALUM Lockie completed a remarkable double recently when he raced at Spa-Francorchamps and on the Nurburgring Nordschleife – considered by some as the two greatest race tracks in the world.
In the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship at Spa he shared Paul White’s Mosler MT900R to finish second in class. Meanwhile, in the Nurburgring 24-hour race, a good result in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Bill Cameron was spoilt by problems early on.
The plan to contest both races was made possible by the relative proximity of these two legendary tracks, with Spa in Belgium only about an hour and a half away from the Nurburgring in Germany.
But it meant a hectic schedule for Calum, who spent four days just before the trip coaching a customer in Britain and then followed up the Spa race with two days of track days with his Gold Track operation.
It all started with the journey to Spa to set up and then Calum drove to the Nurburgring the next morning to meet the Cameron team and sign-on for the 24-hour race.
Then it was back to Spa overnight before going back to the Nurburgring for testing and qualifying on Thursday evening and into the night. On the Friday it was testing at Spa in the Mosler and early on Saturday morning he headed back to the Nurburgring to prepare for the 4pm start of the 24-hour race.
At the Nurburgring, the plan was to keep pre-race running to a minimum and, having not driven the car for a year, Calum went straight into Thursday’s qualifying session.
“There was so much traffic and I got mugged by a couple of quicker cars,” he said even though the result was an impressive 30th fastest overall in the 200plus-car field.
They elected to miss second qualifying and preserve the car, so they slipped to 53rd overall as others improved their times.
Car owner Cameron wanted Calum to start the race and he did the first four laps on wets before switching to slicks. The team elected to leave Calum in the car and he did a two and a half hour-stint to take the car up to 32nd overall.
Cameron and Willie Moore then took their stints to continue the excellent run and the Porsche was up to 22nd overall and third in class by the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Bill did his quickest ever lap of the Nurburgring and he did it in the dark. He was driving very well,” said Lockie.
Unfortunately, it then all went wrong as daylight came on Sunday morning. Moore called over the radio to report that the car was losing water and 45 minutes were lost refitting a detached hose.
Calum then had a massive scare when a rear tyre deflated at 160mph at the Fox Hole. He slowly limped the car back 12 miles to the pits for another unscheduled stop.
Then, with a tyre snagging the bodywork, Cameron had a spin on the Grand Prix circuit and was hit head on by another car, forcing another long pit stop. They resumed way down in 125th place but worked back to 93rd at the finish as Cameron took the car over the line.
But with a 4.20pm race start at Spa, Calum finished his last Nurburgring stint at 11.30am and headed back to Spa for the Britcar race.
He had missed qualifying, but Paul had put the car on the grid in a damp session and started the 100-minute race.
“Paul had never been to Spa before but he did exactly the right job and moved the car up to seventh overall,” said Calum.
Calum took over mid-race and went as fast as he could in pursuit of a strong class result. While being caught by the Aquila of Bob Berridge, Calum was also catching the second in class Mosler, despite running with a power disadvantage.
“I had to keep pushing and got ahead at Des Fagnes while behind Berridge lost a little time with a moment.” The result was second in class and fifth overall to wrap up a truly demanding weekend.
“It was an absolutely amazing weekend and a roller coaster couple of weeks. The timetable worked incredibly well,” said Calum after contesting his 15th 24-hour race.
“For the Nurburgring, I’m extremely grateful to Bill Cameron, Martin the crew chief and the team for a fantastic car and a fantastic weekend.
“At Spa, huge thanks are due to Paul, Steve Scott and the Strata 21 team, including Dave Sheard, for preparing a superb car,” said Calum.