Maiden Victory for McLaren at Silverstone Blancpain.

Track action (By Jurek Biegus)Round 2 of the Blancpain Championship rolled into Silverstone at the weekend with a stunning maiden victory for the McLaren 650S of Von Ryan Racing.

Rob Bell, Shane van Gisbergen and Kevin Estre drove a superb race to claim the first win for the McLaren GT car.

Starting from fourth on the grid Rob Bell was able to grab second place and hold it for the first hour until a full course caution gave them the opportunity to steal the lead. An inspired decision to pit the car early allowed van Gisbergen to rejoin the race with a forty second lead. His role then was to save fuel which he did for his 1 hour and 15 minute stint before finally handing over to Estre who just had to cruise to the finish line.

The pole sitting Nissan GTR of Wolfgang Reip, Katsumasa Chiyo and Alex Buncombe held the lead for the first hour ahead of the chasing McLaren until a coming together with an AM class Ferrari at the loop. The incident and the subsequent pit visit saw the Nissan lose too much time completing the race in thirteenth place.

Second and third on the podium were an Audi lockout as the R8’s of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT took both positions. Jean-Karl Vernay, Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor followed the McLaren over the line 23 seconds later whilst Frank Stippler, Stephane Ortelli and Stephane Richelmi followed 21 seconds down the road.

Further down the field saw a marvellous effort from MRS GT Racing and the all British line up of Sean Walkinshaw, Craig Dolby and Martin Plowman starting their Nissan GTR in 22nd on the grid but fighting their way to a 5th place finish.

Track action (By Jurek Biegus) Track action (By Jurek Biegus) Track action (By Jurek Biegus) Track action (By Jurek Biegus) Track action (By Jurek Biegus)

Less than 3 seconds behind the Nissan came the first Bentley Continental GT which started from P17 on the grid. A solid drive by Maxime Soulet saw him drive to 6th place before handing over the car to Maxi Buhk. Andy Soucek took the final stint but a collision with another car resulted in a drive through penalty which dropped him to P8 but a strong drive saw him get the Bentley back to P6.

The sister Bentley of Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane started the race in P9 and with Smith behind the wheel the car was up to P4 by the first pit stop. Unfortunately a failed wheel nut proved costly and Andy Meyrick rejoined in P24. With Steven Kane taking the final stint the Bentley was able to work its way back up to a P9 finish.

Further down the order were British GT regulars Oman Racing with Jonny Adam, Ahmad Al Harthy and Daniel Lloyd bringing the Aston Martin Vantage home in P19 and the Triple Eight BMW Z4 of Ryan Ratcliffe, Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne finished in P27. By Jurek Biegus

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