Sun on Friday, cloudy on Saturday, and finishing with torrential rain on Sunday – the weather got progressively worse but the Spa Six Hours meeting never fails to disappoint. Five Masters grids once again provided a major contribution to the event’s enduring success as it bounced back from its cancellation in 2020.
In his silent but strong diesel-engined Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, Shaun Lynn virtually led from lights to flag in the second Masters Endurance Legends race, comfortably dealing with challenges from Portuguese elite driver Rui Aguas as well as his son Max whose BR Engineering BR01s finished second and third at a rain-soaked Spa.
“The weather was awful”, said Lynn Sr. “It was torrential, especially the last few laps. I’ve never driven this car in these conditions! It was a bit of a lonely race, though, but I knew Rui was coming for me…”
As the conditions steadily worsened, Lynn Sr did well to maintain a 30-second gap to Aguas towards the line whereas the Portuguese pro had homed in on the Peugeot in the first part of the race to momentarily take the lead ahead of the mandatory stops.
“I actually asked for the race to be stopped!”, said Aguas. “I was aquaplaning on the straights… I slowed down but Shaun didn’t – he was on a mission!”
“I was at half speed in those final laps”, Max Lynn concurred. “I didn’t even try to defend from Rui – pros in these conditions are so much faster, and an overall podium in a P2 car in these conditions is more than I could ask for.”
In fourth, Jamie Constable’s Pescarolo 01 survived contact with Kriton Lendoudis in the Peugeot 90X, the Greek coming off worse, as Constable set off on a comeback race from a position on the edge of the top-ten.
Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen performed miracles by hauling his Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3 car up to fifth overall, passing the David Brise/Alan Purbrick Lola B09/80 right at the end. His countryman Oliver Mathai was seventh overall in his Aston Martin Vantage V12 to complete a German GT3 1-2 clean sweep. When the Phil Quaife/James Thorpe Ferrari 430 GT2 faltered in the closing stages, Michael & Sean McInerney picked up third in the GT section with their Mosler MT900R.
“A fantastic race!” said Graf von Oeynhausen, still unaware where he ended up in the overall standings. “We love it so much that GT3 cars are allowed into the Masters Endurance Legends. So I was fifth overall? Wow! And Oliver? Seventh overall? That’s a great result.”
As the end of a very busy Spa Six Hours meeting approached, the second Masters Endurance Legends race was the last of the Masters grids to get going on the Sunday. The field was given the green flag immediately, upon which Frieser spun his Zytek 09S into the Raidillon while Antoine d’Ansembourg hit the wall in his Dallara-ORECA DO-05.
At the front, Shaun Lynn led his son Max by a whopping seven seconds after a storming opening lap, with Constable trailing another four seconds, chased by Aguas, Lendoudis, Tandy and d’Ansembourg Sr. In GTs, Graf von Oeynhausen led Quaife and McInerney. On lap 2, Lynn Sr’s lead was up to ten seconds while Lynn Sr now had BR01 stablemate Rui Aguas to worry about, the Portuguese having swept past Constable, who after contact with Lendoudis was swamped by Tandy, David Brise in a rapidly climbing Lola B09/80, and Quaife in the Ferrari 430 GT2 that had dislodged Graf von Oeynhausen’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra from the GT class lead. Lendoudis’ Peugeot 90X was soon into the pits to have its damage inspected. Another to lose ground was d’Ansembourg Sr, the Lola-Aston DBR1-2 having spun at Stavelot.
On lap 3, as Aguas continued to make progress, now at the cost of Lynn (M.), Tandy settled down into a solid fourth, with Goodwood track instructor Brise in an equally unchallenged fifth, as the wet-weather drivers were proving their skills.
As the pit window opened, Aguas had whittled down Lynn Sr’s lead to 4 seconds, with Lynn Jr still third ahead of Tandy who was the first to pit, followed by Constable. As the quicker hands of their pairing, Brise and Quaife continued, with Graf von Oeynhausen holding a creditable eighth overall, ahead of Chris Perkins in the third BR01. Michael McInerney was tenth overall and third of the GTs in the Mosler MT900R.
After eight laps, Aguas’ pace was such was that Lynn Sr was forced to give way, but the Portuguese driver still had his longer elite-driver pitstop to deal with – plus an additional 5-second time penalty for exceeding track limits. As soon he lost the lead, Shaun Lynn was into the pits for his stop, along with his son, Count von Oeynhausen, Brise and Oliver Mathai in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3. Perkins (handing over to Jason McInulty) and Quaife (swapping places with James Thorpe) soon followed suit.
On lap 9, Aguas was among the last of the stoppers, joined by Xavier Micheron in the Riley & Scott MkIIIC. The Portuguese driver rejoined in third place just as Steve Tandy came in for an unscheduled second stop, gearbox issues costing him a shot at a podium finish. At the front, Lynn Sr led Lynn Jr by 32 seconds, but Aguas was a lot closer than he was in Saturday’s race – just 36 seconds down on the leader, and a mere four seconds adrift of P2. The three were in a class of their own, as David Purbrick in the Lola started by Brise was two minutes down on Lynn Sr, but Graf van Oeynhausen was closing fast as he tried to maintain his GT-section-winning pace over Thorpe in the Ferrari 430 GT2.
On lap 11, Aguas jumped Lynn Jr for second place while Constable continued a comeback race that saw move into fifth past the two leading GT cars of Thorpe and Graf von Oeynhausen. Meanwhile in eighth, Mathai was homing in on Thorpe’s second place in the GTs, while Ron Maydon had hauled his P3 Ligier JSP3-15 into ninth overall ahead of Micheron completing the top-ten.
As the final minutes ticked away, the rain intensifying with every lap, Lynn (S.) looked into control as he maintained his 30-second lead over Aguas to take a comfortable win, while Lynn (M.) was safe in third, now from Constable who had passed Purdrick – in fact, the latter was under serious threat from the fastest GT cars, which no longer included Thorpe’s Ferrari, as that retired to the pits with just three minutes remaining. On the final lap, Graf von Oeynhausen underlined the dominance of his GT-class performance by removing Purdrick from fifth overall, with Mathai taking second in the GT section. Completing the top-ten were Maydon, Micheron and the Perkins/McInulty BR01 while in 11th overall Michael & Sean McInerney notched up another third in GTs in their Mosler MT900R, following up on their podium finish on Saturday.