D'Ansembourg doubles up in Masters Endurance Legends at Spa
Christophe d’Ansembourg (Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2) added a second Masters Endurance Legends win to his tally at the Spa Six Hours by again keeping Steve Tandy (Lola-Mazda B12/60) at bay. Like yesterday, Kriton Lendoudis ended up third in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
From the start, the Belgian quickly created a gap of some four seconds over Tandy, which went up and down as traffic came along. After the stops, Tandy dropped away to lag 8 seconds behind on lap 12 before starting on a final offensive that left him one second short of a win. D’Ansembourg was merely managing his advantage, though, and crossed the line in first.
We were much faster than yesterday!” said D’Ansembourg, “I did a 2.10! But Steve was quicker too, so it was a fight until the end. We both didn’t make any mistakes, so it was traffic that made the difference.
I tried again, and tried, but just didn’t have the straight line speed of the Aston”, said Tandy. “I was quicker in sector 2 but then he just ran away in 1 and 3. But we go to Dijon now, and that’s hopefully more suited to the Lola-Mazda.
In Travis Engen’s wake, the American finishing fourth in his Audi R8, Keith Frieser (ORECA-GM FLM09) prevailed among the P2 cars, the Canadian taking the lead on lap 3 and never looking back. Yesterday’s winner Mike Newton (Lola-MG EX257) dropped five places on lap 3 but came back to second when Mark Higson was first hit with a pair of time penalties for exceeding track limits and then dropped out on lap 13. This elevated Mike Furness in the Courage LC75 to third in class.
After his dominant class victory in Friday’s race, Steve Zacchia (Ferrari 550 Maranello) led the GT1 class from the start but this time failed to get away from Nikolaus Ditting’s Aston Martin DBR9. In fact, after the stops Zacchia was looking at the rear end of the Aston Martin, which didn’t budge until the finish line. However, when Ditting was handed a 23-second time penalty for speeding in the pitlane, Zacchia took a second GT1 class win.
It was very difficult with the car after the team decided the leave the same tyres on”, said Zacchia. “I was struggling with understeer here and oversteer there, so I just tried to manage the car as it was. After the stops I pushed to overtake Nikolaus but just couldn’t do it.
“Good fun, great track, best way to spend a Saturday afternoon”, said a sporting Nikolaus Ditting. “A shame about the penalty but I just couldn’t get the pit limiter in. I had such a great fight with Steve, though, and that’s what it’s all about.”
In GT2, Xavier Tancogne’s Ferrari 458 GTE dominated from the start. Manfredo Rossi’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR ran second until in the closing stages Shaun Lynn (Aston Martin Vantage GT2) nipped past for second in class. Maurizio Fratti’s Porsche 996 RSR, which retired on lap 6, was third in the opening stages before Lynn surged past on lap 3.