In a thrilling three-hour Blancpain Endurance Series race at Silverstone, Aston Martin Racing secured the top step of the podium, overall and in Pro class. Although the No.97 Vantage of Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Frederic Makowiecki lost the lead at the opening corner of the race, Turner was able to retake to get in front, midway through his stint. From there the Aston Martin team never looked back, and secured a dominant run to the chequered flag.
Taking second in the Pro class was the No.1 Belgian Audi Club Team R8 of Stephane Ortelli, Laurens Vanthoor and Rene Rast. To claim their podium spot, Vanthoor had to pressure the No.2 sister car for several laps midway through the race, before making the move up to the runners-up spot, before heading to the pits. Making it two Belgian Audi Club cars on the podium, Christopher Mies, Frank Stippler and Edward Sandstrom ended the Silverstone round of the Blancpain series in third.
In a dramatic final lap, Steven Kane secured fourth for the JRM Nissan, after stealing the spot in the final corners from the No.4 Marc VDS BMW Z4 and No.44 Kessel Ferrari 458.
A dominant display by the Nissan GT Academy Team of Alex Buncombe, Lucas Ordanez and Peter Pyzera saw them claim the top step of the Pro-Am class. The No.35 car had lead overall in the early stages, until Turner was able to find a way past. Then a flawless run by the trio of drivers saw them take victory by a margin of 28 seconds. Despite receiving a drive-through penalty for infringing track limits, Joe Osborn, Mark Poole and Richard Abra clawed their way back through the field to take second in class. A further 25 second behind the second placed Barwell Aston Martin was the TDS Racing BMW Z4 of Henry Hassid, and Ludovic Badey.
In the Gentleman trophy class the No.66 ARC Bratislava Porsche of Ahmad Al Harthy and Mire Konopka headed the field and took the first place by a full lap. It wasn’t plain sailing for the 997 GT3R, at one point, Al Harthy had improvise with some rallycross skills, taking to the grass in the final corner when confronted with a gaggle of slowing cars.
Second in class was the SOFREV ASP Ferrari 458 of Maurica Ricci, Gabriel Balthazard and Jerome Policand, who bested the PGF Kinfaun Aston Martin of John Gaw and Phil Dryburgh. It was a question of what might have been for the third placed British GT regulars, as their Vantage had started in the class pole position, but a couple of spins during the early stages saw them fall down the order.
Full report to follow.