The second round of the Blancpain Endurance series was held at Silverstone in Northamptonshire across the bank holiday weekend 24-25th May 2014. It followed an epic opening round in Monza which McLaren dominated with two podium finishes.
The second round comprised of a three hour race and a number of entrants who participate in the British GT. The David Appleby Engineering Bentley, MP Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage, Nissan GTR and the Ecurie Ecosse BMW.
The race started with No 93 Mclaren starting from Pole position and lead from the first corner. The first lap had a flurry of action as each car fought for its position. This resulted in a number of cars coming off track due to contact. The Aston Martin Driven By Andy Schulz was off on the first lap and the car was lodged in the gravel for a short while. The No 8 Bentley had contact with a BMW resulting in them pitting for a change of tyres.
The No 888 BMW Z4 driven by Ryan Ratcliffe, Lee Mowle and Derek Johnson who currently run in the British GT Series had contact with NO 333 Ferrari and resulted in them going out into the gravel also. The car managed to go back on track however within a lap or so the No 888 BMW had tyre damage and came off track hitting the tyre barrier causing further damage to the car and forcing them to retire.
At the 30 minute mark two McLaren’s were leading the race just as they did in Monza No 98 in first, No 99 in second and No 7 Bentley running in third.
Guy Smith who was running in third in the M Sport Bentley had to do a drive through penalty due to not respecting yellow flag zone. This resulted in the car dropping back into seventh position and Third place being taken by No 80 Nissan GTR driven by Alex Buncombe who also competes in the British GT.
After the first hour had completed the drivers started to complete their pit stops. This affected the lead as the McLaren’s switched their positions. The race was then led by No 99 McLaren and No 98 McLaren in second ahead of No 7 Bentley in third.
As the start of the second hour approached and the third hour was about to start once again pit stops commenced along with driver switches the top three changed once again. Soon no 38 MP Motorsport driven by Poole/Abra/Obsorne who also drive the Aston in the British GT took the front place ahead of No 99 Mclaren and No 7 Bentley.
The No 7 Bentley had had the drive of its live with Steven Kane behind the wheel and managed to get into second ahead of No 98 Mclaren. The No 38 held the lead as long as they could until they made their final pit stop however as the second and third place runners had already taken their last pit stop it was inevitable the No 38 would drop down the field.
As the pit stop took place another car hit a barrier close to an existing Jaguar which had crashed and was still on the side of the track. Due to this the safety car made its first appearance of the round. The No 38 rejoined in fifth position and the lead went back to No 99 McLaren, second No 7 Bentley and 98 Mclaren in third.
With only 12 minutes remaining the No 7 Bentley took a dive into the lead ahead of No 99 McLaren.
The winner of the Race was No 7 M Sport Bentley who won their first race of the season. It was a special Victory for Bentley as it was won on their home soil and it has been a long time since a Bentley has won an international race.
The No 99 McLaren came second followed by No 1 Audi in third. The Pro Am class was won by No 80 Nissan GTR, No 38 Aston Martin was second and No 43 BMW Z4.
Our Photographer Steven Roe was live at the event to capture the historic moment that Bentley Took their first win in a very long time. It makes the next round of the season something to watch to see if they can replicate their success.