Kennard & Cantillon complete Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends double at the Classic

Jonathan Kennard and Mike Cantillon made it two out of two in both Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends races at the Classic, beating Steve Tandy’s Lola-Mazda B12/60 in their Pescarolo-Judd 01 – despite a 20-second ‘success’ penalty during their pitstop.

“Jonno gave me the car with a 25-second lead”, said Cantillon, “so with our penalty I had five seconds in hand on Steve. Steve caught me quickly before I got into a groove – and then from the pits they told me to get a move-on!”

“It was a good race between us”, said Tandy. “I was down on top speed on the straights, so I was a sitting duck, but the aero on the car is fantastic.”

David Porter finished a distant third in his Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, inheriting the position when Christophe d’Ansembourg in the Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 slid off in the closing stages. The Belgian’s exit allowed Jamie Constable to take fourth in his Pescarolo 01, ahead of James Cottingham’s Dallara-Judd SP1.

“I’m getting there!” said Porter about getting the podium result. “This is a very challenging car to drive, but it is such a privilege to drive it.”

In an eventful few first laps, Christophe d’Ansembourg pushed through to take second on lap 2 but then dropped back behind Steve Tandy and David Porter, while Jonathan Kennard out in front had created a 12-second lead in four laps. Behind them, François Perrodo worked his way up to the P2 class lead in his Porsche RS Spyder, getting up to sixth overall behind James Cottingham’s Dallara SP1.

Relegated to the back of the grid because of the previous day’s incident with Kriton Lendoudis’ Peugeot, Emmanuel Collard was up into 15th after the opening lap but the Pescarolo was back to last because of a further 30-second stop-and-go penalty. On lap 5, the Frenchman was back to 15th and pushing his way forward. Lendoudis, meanwhile, had started in his spare Peugeot but that ground to a halt on the first lap, a clutch problem disallowing it to go any further. Another car moving up from a lowly grid position was Jamie Constable’s Pescarolo, Constable getting the second Gulf-liveried French machine up to seventh 15 minutes into the race, ahead of Shaun Lynn’s Bentley Speed 8.

Among the GT cars, the invitational GT3 cars of Scott Aaron/Arwyn Williams (Ferrari 458 GT3) and John Grant/Alexander Lienau (Aston Martin Vantage V12) led Max Girardo’s Ferrari 550 GT1 and Ollie Hancock in the TVR T400 R.

Kennard’s lead over Tandy was 17 seconds when the pit window opened, with d’Ansembourg trailing Tandy’s Lola-Mazda by six seconds, and Porter’s Peugeot by eight seconds. Cottingham and Perrodo were still fifth and sixth, ahead of Constable and Lynn, with Collard now up to ninth, having passed the warring P2 machines of Keith Frieser (ORECA-Nissan 03), Mike Furness (Courage-Judd LC75), Mike Newton (Lola-MG EX257) and Mark Higson (ORECA-Nissan 03).

After the stops, Mike Cantillon having taken over from Kennard initially led Tandy by a handful of seconds – due to the 20-second ‘success’ penalty for Kennard – but Tandy was on it and moved his Lola-Mazda into the lead on lap 12. D’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin trailed by 14 seconds, with Porter a further three seconds behind. Cottingham and Constable were fifth and sixth, half a minute down on Porter, while Perrodo was seventh and the fastest P2 runner out there. Collard was still the fastest man on the circuit but to improve from his eighth place would mean making up 37 seconds on Perrodo.

Cantillon wasn’t letting off, though. Settled into a rhythm, the Irishman began closing on Tandy again. Going into Brooklands on lap 15, Cantillon reclaimed the lead. Behind them, drama ensued when d’Ansembourg locked up and slid off, throwing away a solid third place.

Towards the end, Tandy gradually lost touch with Cantillon, allowing Kennard and Cantillon to take the double at the Classic. David Porter was third, 43 seconds down, ahead of Constable and Cottingham. Perrodo won the P2 class, the Frenchman and his nearest class rivals sandwiching Collard in seventh. Frieser beat Newton to second in P2 class, with Lynn’s Bentley rounding out the overall top-ten.

In GTs, Max Girardo also doubled up in his Ferrari 550 GT1, heading home the invitational Ferrari 458 GT3 of Aaron Scott/Arwyn Williams and Ollie Hancock in the TVR. Colin Sowter’s Aston Martin Vantage GT2 completed the GT podium.