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April 02, 2020

Way Back When: Steven Kane won the Baltimore Grand Prix

Way Back When: Steven Kane won the Baltimore Grand Prix
Photo Credit To Gary Parravani/www.Xynamic.com

He’s best known for being one of the original Bentley Boys after the resurrection of the factory programme in 2014 and prior to that, as a race-winner in the cut and thrust British Touring Car Championship. But you may not know that Steven Kane also enjoyed success in prototype racing too. Five years after he and Humaid al Masaood beat current Bentley Racing team-mate Guy Smith and Chris Dyson to win the Baltimore Grand Prix in the American Le Mans Series, the Northern Irishman told Racing.GT all about it.

Baltimore was a strange old circuit actually, it was super bumpy because it was the first year we had raced there. The railway track was a bit of a problem for the organisers, they were always having to fix it in between sessions because we were wheelie-ing over the tracks! Eventually they put a chicane in to slow people down, so they laid some tarmac down and created kerbs.

It was a great race, great event. The city put on a really good show, the IndyCars were there as well and it was a massive event, I think they had about 200,000 people over the weekend.

It was a really fun battle with Chris [Dyson] and Guy [Smith] in the other LMP1. I was with Humaid al Masood and he had a really good race that weekend, the track just suited him and us. We came into the season a little bit late and were really starting to get on top of the car at that point.

That car in particular was the Lola B09/86 and it had a two-litre turbo AER engine, which was a really good engine on its day. The whole package had been run for a number of years by Dyson Racing, so they were on top of the car and we got into it at a good time.

For me it wasn’t that big a transition because I’d done all the development work on the Formula 2 car, I’d done World Series by Renault and F3, so after doing the touring cars it was quite nice to get back into a car that was really exhilarating. I loved driving it and to go to some amazing tracks in America like Petit Le Mans and Mosport, which is like a track from the 70s, a super-fast, old-school track which I really like.

Not a lot of people know this, but our left upright came loose and the top of the upright separated, so for my whole stint the steering was moving around all over the place. You could feel it wanting to go right when you wanted to turn left! It was very unnerving, especially on a street track where you have to be so precise…

See More: Nelson Piquet Jr. looks back on his first Le Mans appearance in 2006. 

About The Author

James Newbold

James Newbold is Racing.GT's Editor. He graduated from a politics degree at the University of East Anglia in 2015, which should help him navigate through the political minefield that is GT racing. He likes Marmite on toast and Oreo cookies. Speaks Spanish, but only when no one is looking.