Kennard & Cantillon win first Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends race at Silverstone

Jonathan Kennard and Mike Cantillon took the win in a shortened first Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends race at the Silverstone Classic, Kennard having fought Emmanuel Collard’s similar Pescarolo-Judd 01 hard during his opening stint. When Collard clashed with Kriton Lendoudis’ Peugeot 908 HDi FAP during the pitstop phase, a lengthy safety-car period caused the race to hit the 9 PM curfew. This handed an easy win to Kennard’s relief driver Mike Cantillon.

Jonathan did 90% of the work”, said Cantillon, “I just brought the car home but it was Kennard’s win. We bought the car together and restored it together.

Behind the two fighting Pescas, Steve Tandy (Lola-Mazda B12/60) made his way past Lendoudis to claim third – which became second when Collard and Lendoudis had their incident.

I was really looking forward to having a run at Mike”, said Tandy, “but the safety car messed it up for us.

Charging up from ninth on the grid, Christophe d’Ansembourg took a combative third in his Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2.

  • was very unlucky in qualifying because of a gearbox issue”, said d’Ansembourg, “but the car was amazing.”**

The first few laps saw Collard pass Kennard into Brooklands on the first laps while Tandy pushed Lendoudis down to third. From his lowly grid position, Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin was the car on the move, dispensing with James Cottingham’s Dallara, David Porter’s Peugeot and then the second Peugeot of Lendoudis to be fourth after three laps.

In P2, Mike Newton’s MG-Lola EX257 led away in eighth overall but on lap 3, Keith Frieser came through for the class lead in his ORECA-Nissan 03. Mark Higson in another ORECA 03 was now harrying Newton for second in class, leading Mike Furness in the Courage LC75 and Shaun Lynn in the Bentley Speed 8.

Aaron Scott was the quickest GT driver, his invitational GT3 Ferrari leading Max Girardo’s Ferrari 550 GT1 and Alexander Lienau in another guesting Aston Martin Vantage GT3. From the back of the grid, having missed qualifying, François Perrodo was on his way up in the Porsche RS Spyder P2. Stephan Jocher’s Porsche 996 GT3 RSR was the leading GT2 car.

On lap 5, d’Ansembourg moved up into third, passing Tandy, the V12-engined machine now really flying – but not at the pace of the two Pescarolos at the front, Collard inching away from Kennard, the pair now 20 seconds clear of the Belgian in third. But with traffic impeding, Kennard was soon right back on Collard’s tail, in a tense few laps towards the pit window.

Behind them, d’Ansembourg was kept honest by Tandy while Porter had moved past Lendoudis in the other Peugeot. Cottingham was 12 seconds down on the Peugeots while Lynn had picked off the P2 cars to be eighth in the Bentley. In P2, Higson had found his way past the slowing Newton, and then dealt with Frieser, who in turn had been passed for the class lead by Mike Furness in the Courage. Girardo and Jocher were still leading the GT1 and GT2 classes respectively, with the two GT3 cars in front of them.

As the pit window opened, Collard was the first to take the opportunity, Kennard staying out to produce the fastest lap of the race so far. The pit window still open, the safety car came out because of an off by Stephan Jocher’s Red Bull-liveried Porsche and a serious collision between Lendoudis’ Peugeot and Collard’s Pescarolo on the exit of Farm.

Having taken over from Kennard while all this went on, Mike Cantillon in the remaining Pescarolo-Judd 01 now led Tandy, d’Ansembourg, Cottingham, Porter and Lynn. Furness was in charge of the P2 class, ahead of Higson and Frieser, with Girardo moving up into tenth overall in the leading GT car. With Jocher out, Steve Soper took over the GT2 reins in the BMW M3 GT2.

Removing the Peugeot and Pescarolo from their dangerous positions proved to be a lengthy affair, which meant that only six minutes remained, but then curfew took care of those minutes as well. The result remained the order of the cars behind the safety car.