Kane Storms To Victory At Silverstone
May 28, 2014 by Tony Gregory
At last weekends Silverstone round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, Northern Irish sportscar racer Steven Kane helped M-Sport Bentley score its maiden victory in only the second competition event for both the Continental GT3 and the new race team. The no7 car driven by Kane, Andy Meyrick and Guy Smith drove an astonishing lights to flag race and in-turn delivered the historic British brand its first UK race win in 84 years.
Kane’s team mate Guy Smith took the wheel for the start after qualifying 4th. As the race began Smith was able to move the no7 car up to 2nd but on lap 15, while fighting through traffic Smith was boxed-in by backmarkers, allowing the McLaren in 3rd to move in front. A few laps later both Bentleys were given drive-through penalties for improving their sector times while a yellow flag was in force. This dropped Guy in the no7 car to P7. The cars pitted sequentially on lap 31, with Andy Meyrick and Duncan Tappy taking control of cars no7 and no8 respectively. The pit stops were fast enough to bring no7 out in 5th place.
In his stint, Meyrick was able to move quickly up to 3rd place on lap 38 and after closing a 27-gap then made a stunning move to take 2nd place from Gregoire Demoustier in the McLaren. He made his pit stop a few laps later on lap 54, handing the car over to Kane.
His stint began with a charge in to the 21-second lead of the no99 McLaren. Having closed the gap to 17 seconds, the safety car was deployed, compressing the field. At the restart on lap 67, traffic meant that Kane had a 6.5 second gap to the leader, but with less than 15 minutes to go Kane had caught the McLaren and made his move up the inside through the Brooklands complex. He crossed the line six laps later to take an historic win for M-Sport Bentley.
Kane commented: “Today has been epic. We didn’t get any real dry running done yesterday because of the weather, so we were relieved when we set good times in qualifying this morning. In the race the car was fantastic, especially with how well it looked after its tyres. That gave me the grip and traction I needed to take the lead in to Brooklands and after that we knew we could hold first place. Standing on the top step of the podium with Guy and Andy was a very special moment and I now know I can call myself a true Bentley Boy.”
The team now looks forward to the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, to be held at Paul Ricard on Saturday 28th June.