Brooks goes on repeat with second Masters Endurance Legends victory at Silverstone
Having already prevailed on Saturday, Steve Brooks doubled up with a strong win in the second Masters Endurance Legends race at the Silverstone Festival, the Peugeot 90X driver only giving up his lead during the mid-race stops. Stuart Wiltshire in the other 90X put on a fierce challenge in his first stint but Brooks was able to extend his lead after the stops. Christophe d’Ansembourg (Lola-Aston Martin DBR-1) initially fought Keith Frieser’s Zytek 09S but soon left the Zytek behind to claim a lonely third while Frieser faltered right at the end to finish seventh.
“That was awesome!” said Brooks. “The track is just amazing in those cars when they start to flow. It’s just like being in heaven.”
“I tried my hardest to stay with Steve”, said Wiltshire, “but he was just too quick. I did my best.”
“Really good”, said D’Ansembourg who inadvertently tapped the Harindra & Tim De Silva Pescarolo 01 on the opening lap. “It was a difficult race, I had a small shunt at the beginning, but the car was fine. I really had to fight to remain third, because there were a lot of people behind.”
In fourth overall, Max Lynn dominated in P2, bringing his BR Engineering BR01 home in front of the Andy Cummings/Bradley Ellis Morgan LMP2 and his father Shaun’s similar BR01. The three headed Frieser and the Gregor Fisken/Sam Hancock Dallara SP1, with Jonathan Kennard and Jamie Constable charging up all the way from the back in their Acura ARX-01b to take fourth in P2 and ninth overall.
Rob Hall decided a tight P3 battle in his favour, his Ligier JSP3 fending off Bradley Smith’s Norma M30 that initially led before the pair finished 10th and 11th overall. Phil Quaife and James Thorpe took third in class. Meanwhile, Wayne Marrs dominated GT proceedings, his Mercedes AMG GT3 finishing well ahead of the Vasily Vladikin/Frank Wrathall Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3.
The track was still a bit damp for the final Masters race of the Silverstone Festival, as the Masters Endurance Legends got ready for their second race of the weekend. With the previous day’s winner Steve Brooks on pole and Harindra De Silva in the Pescarolo 01 next to him, the field poured into Abbey for their 30-minute race, but only after the Aston Martin of Claude Bovet/David McDonald – the previous day’s GT winner no less – was taken out of the way. The car had broken down at Becketts on the formation lap.
Brooks wasted no time once the safety car released the field, as the Peugeot stormed off into the distance, but coming out of The Loop, De Silva went wide to see Stuart Wiltshire fly past in the second Peugeot, with Keith Frieser in the Zytek 09S also following through. Coming onto the Wellington Straight, however, the recovering American was hit from behind by Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 before the Belgian proceeded to pass Frieser into lap 2.
In the battle for the P2 class lead, Andy Cummings in the Morgan 01 was soon swamped by the BR01s of Max and Shaun Lynn, with Gregor Fisken in the Dallara SP1 following in eighth ahead of two more P2 cars – Steve Tandy’s Acura ARX-04 and Michael Birch in the Ligier JSP2. In 11th, Bradley Smith led the P3 class in the lone Norma M30, three ticks ahead of the Ligier JSP3s of Rob Hall and Jon Minshaw. Following the Aston’s early demise, Wayne Marrs now headed the GTs, his Mercedes AMG GT3 leading stablemate Christopher Compton Goddard’s Ferrari 430 GT3 and Vasily Vladikin’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
On lap 4, Brooks was still leading but Wiltshire was hunting him down, setting fastest lap after fastest lap to bring the gap down to two seconds. D’Ansembourg and Frieser were 10 and 13 seconds in arrears respectively, while Gregor Fisken now split the BR01s, with Tandy also having made it past Cummings in the Morgan, as the pit window opened – with Brooks taking the first opportunity. Further back, Tandy passed Shaun Lynn for seventh, while Mike Newton in the MG-Lola EX264 also began to make progress, passing the leading LMP3s to enter the top ten.
On lap 7, Wiltshire thundered on at the front but found himself stuck in traffic while Brooks looked he had returned in clear air. This made the leader come in for his own stop, and he was followed straight in by D’Ansembourg, Frieser, Lynn (M.) and Tandy, with Lynn (S.) already having made his stop. Meanwhile, for Brooks things were looking good with a fastest lap of the race on lap 8 but immediately after the Peugeot almost shot off the track, losing a big chunk of time.
As the leading bunch cycled back into the order, it transpired that Brooks had still found some eight seconds over Wiltshire to lead by ten seconds. D’Ansembourg remained in third, 28 seconds down on the leader, while Max Lynn in the leading P2 car was now up to fourth ahead of Frieser and father Shaun. The older Lynn looked under threat, though, as Bradley Ellis was flying in the Morgan started by Cummings and was quickly closing down a 10-second gap. Tandy, meanwhile, had lost huge amounts of ground and was languishing in 18th. In P3, Hall was ninth overall to lead Smith in 13th and the Phil Quaife/James Thorpe JSP3 in 15th. Marrs still led the GTs and quite comfortably so, but Frank Wrathall in the Audi started by Vladikin had managed to pass Goddard for second in class.
At the front, Brooks now sat in the quicker Peugeot as his 90X put three more ticks between itself and Stuart Wiltshire’s example – but neither French diesel was the fastest car on track. That was Tim De Silva’s Pescarolo 01 trying to recover from Harindra’s early mishap, now in 14th but making up places really fast – however, on lap 12, it proved to be all for nothing as the Pesca suddenly slowed.
Two more minutes remained, and Keith Frieser was the next one to run into trouble with a spin for the Zytek. However, nothing could stop Steve Brooks from doubling up, leading home Wiltshire and D’Ansembourg. The Lynns looked like completing a 1-2 in P2, their BR Engineering BR01s in a strong fourth and fifth overall with one lap to go, but Ellis beat the older Lynn to second place in class on the final lap. Frieser and Sam Hancock (in the Dallara SP1 started by Fisken) were up next, ahead of the Jonathan Kennard/Jamie Constable Acura ARX-01b coming up from the back of the grid.
Rob Hall took P3 class glory in 10th overall, fending off Smith’s Norma and the Quaife/Thorpe Ligier, while Marrs brought home the GT win from Vladikin/Wrathall and Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3, the latter making it past Goddard’s 430 GT3 towards the end.
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