Aguas takes Peugeot 908 to win in first Masters Endurance Legends race of Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch

Rui Aguas – driving solo in Kriton Lendoudis’s Peugeot 908X P1 diesel – overcame his additional pitstop time penalty for professional drivers to win the first Masters Endurance Legends race of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

It was an unbelievable race, and quite fun”, said Aguas. “I had a great battle with Alex Kapadia – he closed the gaps everywhere! Thanks to Kriton for giving me this car – I hope we do the next one together.

The race effectively became just half a race after a lengthy safety-car period was needed to recover Niki Leutwiler’s ORECA-Nissan 03 P2 and David Porter’s Peugeot 908 which clashed on the first lap. The neutralised race lasted into the pit window, partly negating the pitstop time penalties for professional drivers.

After the pitstops, Aguas battled up from seventh to first, the Portuguese driver passing the Martin Rich/Alex Kapadia ORECA-Nissan 03 for the lead on lap 19, Kapadia having put up a strong defense for a couple of laps. It got close again on the penultimate lap when Aguas got baulked by a backmarker but Kapadia failed to find a way past.

“It was a case of keeping the tyres warm for Alex!” said Martin Rich about his stint behind the safety car.

Yes, the safety car managed to close a few of the gaps”, said Kapadia. “I kept Rui behind for a couple of laps but in the end there was nothing I could do. There was a bit of excitement at the when he got held up but I couldn’t quite capitalise on it.

Steve Tandy (Lola-Mazda B12/60) lost the lead to Kapadia on lap 14, having passed Martin Short (Dallara-Judd SP1) who exited the pitlane in first after the pitstops. Both hung on to third and fourth respectively, Short winning the class for the older P1 cars.

“To be honest, the safety car ruined our strategy”, said Tandy, “but I still had a good race with Martin Short. It’s good to be up here on the podium, and let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

One lap down, Nigel Greensall (Riley & Scott Mk3) passed Keith Frieser’s ORECA-GM FLM09 on the final lap to take fifth overall and the class win for the oldest P1 cars on the grid. Greensall was given a hefty 50-second pitstop penalty, and joked to Mrs Greensall about not having coffee ready for him…

Travis Engen’s Audi R8 was a brief fifth after the pitstops but ended up seventh, ahead of Mike Furness’s Courage LC75 and the Marc Rostan/Pierre Bruneau Pilbeam MP91.