Tandy doubles up in second Masters Endurance Legends race at Brands Hatch
Steve Tandy took his second win of the weekend in Masters Endurance Legends but was made to work hard for it by Shaun Lynn. Lynnâ€™s Nissan-engined BR Engineering BR01 pushed past Tandyâ€™s Lola-Judd B12/60 in a bold move before the stops before Tandy fought back to reclaim the lead and win by three seconds.
Such was the leadersâ€™ pace that Mike Newton was a lap down in third, but in the opening stages the MG-Lola EX257 managed to keep Lynnâ€™s BR01 behind for three laps. Initially, David Brise closed up to the leaders in Alan Purdrickâ€™s Lola-Judd B09/80 but in the second part of the race Purdrick was forced to retire the car. This elevated Mark Higsonâ€™s ORECA-Nissan 03 to fourth.
In the Aston Martin DBR9, Richard Meins turned his GT duel with Marcus Jewell in the Porsche 996 GT3 RSR into a nailbiting affair, the Aston slowing on the opening laps before it got going again and set off to chase after Jewell. Incredibly, having been 30 seconds down, Meins pipped Jewell right on the line to win the GT class by 0.054 seconds.
From the off, Tandy held on to the lead from Lynn, but a very racy Newton soon blasted past the much newer P2 car to move up into a surprise second place. Behind, David Brise was similarly on the move, pushing the Lola B09/80 past Craig Davies in the Ligier and Higson in the ORECA. Sadly, though, Richard Meins was in trouble as the Aston Martin DBR9 smoked its way back to the pits. This moved up Richard Cookâ€™s Riley & Scott MkIIIC into seventh, followed by Mike Furness in the Courage LC75, while Marcus Jewellâ€™s Porsche took over the GT lead.
Newton kept pushing above his weight until lap 3, when Lynn finally found a way past â€“ and when that was done, Brise nipped by as well to claim third. Eight seconds further back, Davies still held off Higson. At the back, Meins had got going again and set off in pursuit of Jewell who was 30 seconds up on the road.
Punching in fastest lap of the race on lap 5, Lynn narrowed down the gap to Tandy to three seconds, but behind him Brise â€“ a nephew of the late Tony Brise â€“ went even quicker to stay within two seconds of the Russian-financed P2 car, as Newton was dropped by seven seconds. Meanwhile, Higson had taken finally removed Davies from fifth.
Two fastest laps later, Lynn was right on the rear of the Lola-Judd B12/60 in the lead. Now dipping under the 1.24 mark, the BR01 was really looking for a way past Tandy in the lead. Even better, Brise in the older Lola P2 prototype soon joined the lead pair to have Lynn look in both directions.
As the pit window opened up, Newton in fourth was now trailing by 27 seconds, with Higson a further eight ticks down. In seventh and eighth, Cook and Furness were having a personal ding-dong of their own, while at the front Lynn took a deep breath braking for Druids to surge past Tandy and take the lead.
Higson was the first to stop, soon followed by Brise who was relieved by Alan Purdrick. Newton, Furness and Jewell were up next before Tandy blinked â€“ setting fastest lap on his in lap to fully maximise his stop. Then Lynn popped in on the last possible occasion before the pit window closed. As he exited the pits, he was baulked by Cook in the Riley & Scott, allowing Tandy to close right up.
On lap 18, as Cook coasted to a halt on the outside of Druids, Tandy began to harry Lynn and out of Graham Hill Bend used the grunt of his Judd engine to storm past the Nissan-powered BR01. Moments later, Purdrick in the Lola also pulled off. This elevated Newton up to third, as the MG-Lola led Higson by 12 seconds, and Davies in the Ligier by 33 seconds. Furness was up next, 12 more seconds in arrears. Jewell still led the GT class but his lead to Meins had decreased to 20 seconds.
With five more minutes to go, Tandy settled into a 1.5-second advantage over Lynn, with Newton about to be lapped in third. In fact, as the two leaders lapped the MG-Lola, Tandy ran out to a three-second lead before he crossed the line in first. Higson came up three seconds short of catching Newton, with Davies and Furness following home in fifth and sixth. Meanwhile, in a last-gasp push, Richard Meins stole the GT win from Jewell as a photo finish gave him the advantage by 0.054 seconds!
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