Aston Martin Racing scored a straight-forward win in their home round of the Blancpain Endurance Series as the championship visited Silverstone.
The driving combination of Darren Turner, Fred Makowiecki and Stefan Mucke dominated the three hour race, though Turner had to fight back in the opening half hour of the session after losing the lead from pole to Lucas Ordonez who took the overall lead at the wheel of the Pro-Am heading RJN Motorsport Nissan GT-R GT3.
After sweeping around the outside of Copse corner at the start of the race Ordonez led the way through the opening stages shadowed by Turner in the blue and yellow Bilstein sponsored Vantage as the pair broke away from a battle for third headed by Alexander Skryabin in the #70 SMP Racing Ferrari qualified fourth by Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Ordonez’s lead lasted through the opening half hour until the lead pair came upon a Gulf Racing McLaren recovering from off track exiting Abbey. Ordonez and Turner opted for different sides of the slow car, Turner’s selection to go right giving him the inside for Village and the lead of the race.
Turner pulled away at the front before the battle for the lead was ended by Ordonez pitted to hand over to Peter Pyzera. A relatively slow stop dropped the Nissan squad to fifth place overall with an additional penalty incurred for passing under yellow flags dropping them to tenth place where they would finish, Alex Buncombe completing the team by driving the final stint.
The trio still won the Pro-Am category a lap to the good over the Barwell Motorsport Aston Martin of Richard Abra, Mark Poole and Joe Osborne. Henry Hassid and Ludovic Badey completed the class podium in their Thiriet by TDS Racing BMW Z4.
Following the first round of pitstops Makowiecki in the lead was left effectively unchallenged as the Aston remained in the lead with the #13 and #1 Belgian Audi Club WRT R8 LMS ultra a distant second and third. The pair of Audis would swap places by the checkered flag with Stephane Ortelli, Laurens Vanthoor and Rene Rast taking second place 20 seconds behind the dominant Aston. The win was the first overall BES win for the British manufacturer with Turner the first British driver to claim an overall win in the series.
Frank Stippler, Edward Sandstrom and Christopher Mies finished third, but the real interest of the final laps was the battle for fourth. Markus Palttala had caught a fading Daniel Zampieri in the final laps but was unable to put the superior pace of the Marc VDS BMW to use as Zampieri defended hard, twice forcing Palttala off the track at Village after the Finn tried to go around the outside to take the position.
Their battling slowed the pair of the back, backing them up to a charging Steven Kane who found a way past both of them in the final corners to snatch fourth for JRM Motorsport. Palttala followed through to take fifth. The other Marc VDS car, driven by Maxime Martin, Yelmer Buurman and Bas Leinders was taken out of the race inside the first hour after contact with a slower Audi at Farm.
Miro Konopka and Ahmad Al Harthy won the Gentlemen’s Cup class, Al Harthy coming away unscathed from a heart-in-moth moment as traffic ahead of him scattered in the wake of a car slow exiting Luffield. Al Harthy took the ARC Bratislava Porsche to the grass, bumping back onto the track with minimal time lost to take the class win.
Jerome Policand took second in class of SOFREV Auto Sport Promotion after passing John Gaw late in the piece, Gaw holding onto third to put an Aston Martin on the podium in all three classes with co-driver Phil Dryburgh.