It was a hard fought second win for Steve Tandy in his Lola-Judd B12/60 at last weekend’s Masters Endurance Legends Race at Brands Hatch, with Shaun Lynn in his Nissan-engined BR Engineering BR01 making Tandy work hard for it, slipping past Tandy only to lose the lead and take second just three seconds behind when the chequered came down.
The two leaders were in a league of their own out front, as third placed driver Mike Newton crossed the finish line a whole lap down in his MG-Lola EX257 and Mark Higson inherited fourth in the ORECA-Nissan 03 after Alan Purdrick’s Lola-Judd B09/80 was forced to retire from the race.
The GT duel between Richard Meins in his Aston Martin DBR9 and Marcus Jewell in the Porsche 996 GT3 RSR turned out to be edge of the seat racing, with Meins beating Jewell right on the finish line to win the GT class by 0.054 seconds having been 30 seconds down following an unscheduled trip to the pits.
At the start of the race Tandy managed to hold on to the lead from Lynn, but Newton quickly managed to get past the newer BR01 in his MG-Lola EX257 to move up into second place. Meanwhile David Brise was also moving his way up the field, pushing his Lola B09/80 past Craig Davies in the Ligier and Higson in the ORECA. Richard Meins however, had to limp his Aston Martin DBR9 back to the pits moving Richard Cook’s Riley & Scott MkIIIC into seventh place, followed by Mike Furness in the Courage LC75, while Marcus Jewell’s Porsche took the GT lead. Meins managed to get the Aston Martin going again and set off in pursuit of Jewell’s Porsche 996, who was by now 30 seconds ahead.
Lynn put in the fasted lap of the race on the fifth lap, closing the gap to Tandy to just three seconds. Then two fastest laps later, Lynn was right on the tail of the leading Lola-Judd B12/60.
By the time the pit window opened, fourth placed Newton was 27 seconds behind the leaders, with Higson’ ORECA a further eight seconds down the road. Cook and Furness were battling it out in seventh and eighth, whilst up font Lynn braked late for Druids and managed to slip past Tandy to take the lead.
Lynn came into the pits at the last possible occasion before the pit window closed but on exiting the pits, found himself baulked by Cook in the Riley & Scott which allowed Tandy to close right up on the BR01 and on Lap 18, as Cook’s Riley & Scott MkIIIC came to a halt at Druids, Tandy took the opportunity to push Lynn coming out of Graham Hill Bend and using the power of his Judd engine, managed to get past the Nissan-powered BR01. Then just a few moments later, Purdrick’s Lola pulled off, elevating Newton up into third, with his MG-Lola now ahead of Higson by 12 seconds, and Davies’ Ligier by 33 seconds.
With just five minutes of the race left, Tandy managed to keep a 1.5-second gap between himself and Lynn, with third place Newton about to be lapped and therefore posing no threat to the two front runners. But as the two leaders lapped the MG-Lola, Tandy was able to increase the gap to a three-second lead as he crossed the finish line.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Gary Harman