3rd June 2013, Silverstone, UK – On home soil, Aston Martin secured their first Blancpain Endurance Series win with the works team and drivers Darren Turner, Fred Makowiecki and Stefan Mucke, who dominated the second round of the 2013 season.
The trio, which included Turner as the first Briton to take an overall BES win, won by 20 seconds at the end of the three hour race around the Northamptonshire Grand Prix circuit. A brace of Belgian Audi Club WRT R8 LMS ultras completed the overall podium with the #1 of Stephane Ortelli, Laurens Vanthoor and Rene Rast second while team mates Frank Stippler, Edwards Sandstrom and Christopher Mies finished in third.
The two cars ascended to their podium places – albeit originally the opposite way around – after the first round of pit stops, exiting a scrap for third place that had raged for much of the first stint and then took further advantage of a slow stop for the RJN Motorsport Nissan that Lucas Ordonez took from second on the gird to the lead on the opening lap. Ordonez would lose the lead to Turner in the Aston Martin on the half hour mark, as the pair scythed past slower traffic in the Arena section.
A penalty for a pit stop infringement delayed the Nissan still further, pushing it and driver Peter Pyzera from fifth to tenth, although they kept the lead of the Pro-Am class – third driver Alex Buncombe completed the race by winning the category by a lap over the all-British team of Mark Poole, Richard Abra and Joe Osborne in the Barwell Motorsport Aston.
The Pro class JRM run Nissan GT-R GT3 of Steven Kane, Lucas Luhr and Peter Dumbreck finished fourth overall, mainly because of a last corner pass from Kane that put him ahead of both Kessel Racing’s Daniel Zampieri and Marc VDS Racing’s Markus Palttala who finished sixth and fifth respectively.
Slovakian racer Miro Konopka and Avon Tyres British GT Championship regular Ahmad Al Harthy won the Gentlemen’s Trophy class in their ARC Bratislava Porsche, they were classified 25th overall in the 57 car strong field.
Maurice Ricci, Gabriel Balthazard and Jerome Policand finished second in class in the SOFREV ASP Ferrari. While John Gaw and Phil Dryburgh completed the class podium in the PGR-KInfaun AMR Aston Martin, which ensured the British brand was on all three class podiums in the marque’s centenary year.
For the next round, the Blancpain Endurance Series visits the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, Southern France where action gets underway on 29th June.
Words: James Broomhead
Pictures: Kevin Mc Glone (Red Square Images)