bentley le mans lynn

Bentley and Dallara win Le Mans Racing Legends races

bentley le mans lynn

After the wet weather early in the week, the sun was shining for the first Endurance Racing Legends race which got underway at 10:30 on Friday under the guidance of a safety car for the curtain-raiser during the 89th Le Mans 24 Hour weekend.

Legendary cars from the Nineties and Noughties, many class or outright race winners, returned to the track for a new showdown, in which regulations require all cars to pit during the race.

James Cottingham (#15 Dallara SP1 2002) slipped straight into the lead, with Florent Moulin (#16 Dallara SP1 2001) less than a second behind him. Shaun Lynn (#7 Bentley EXP Speed 8 2003), who had started from pole, was still in contention at the end of the first lap. Martin Short (#88 Dallara SP1 2002) made an early pit stop and GT1B class favourite Darren Turner (#9 Aston Martin DBR9 2007) suffered mechanical issues at the start of the race.

Experienced Le Mans driver Emmanuel Collard (#26 Porsche 911 GT1 1997) sustained a one-minute penalty after breaching the safety car protocol. After a series of stops and starts, the prototypes got back in the game.

Shaun Lynn’s Bentley overtook Florent Moulin on the sixth lap, to glide into second place. Then came a plot twist just eight minutes before the end! Lap-time record holder (3:45.263) James Cottingham was enjoying a comfortable lead until he lost control of his Dallara SP1 and came off at the Porsche curves, causing him to retire from the race. Mike Newton (#25 Lola-MG EX257 2004) got to secure third place.

Top 5  Race 1 Le Mans Endurance Racing Legends:

  • Shaun Lynn – #7 Bentley EXP Speed 8 2003
  • Florent Moulin – #16 Dallara SP1 2001
  • Mike Newton – #25 Lola-MG EX257 2004
  • Roald Goethe/Stuart Hall – #8 Aston Martin DBR9 2006
  • Dominik Roschmann – #66 Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive 2005

le mans legends-001

The second Endurance Racing Legends race at 10:15 this morning was eagerly awaited by the Le Mans crowds. Shaun Lynn (#7 Bentley Exp Speed 2003) won yesterday’s race, taking advantage of a mistake by James Cottingham. Three-time Le Mans class winner Darren Turner was absent from the grid due to a mechanical issue with the Aston Martin DBR9 2007.

Cottingham, in the #15 Dallara SP1 2002, took command right from the green flag. Despite a mistake at Tertre Rouge, Florent Moulin (#16 Dallara SP1 2001) kept Shaun Lynn in check. Not far behind, Martin Short in the #88 Dallara SP1 2002 rounded off the leading pack.

The four had a comfortable margin over the Aston Martin DBR9 2008 in the hands of Dario Franchitti, three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Shaun Lynn and Florent Moulin played a spectacular game of cat and mouse, with the Frenchman keeping the upper hand.

With fifteen minutes still on the clock, Emmanuel Brigand (#1 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 2009) span off at the “raccordement” where the road section of the circuit links to the permanent Bugatti track.

Martin Short, still holding on to his fourth place after the mandatory pit stops, was hit with a penalty for speeding in the pit lane that put paid to hopes of a podium. In the closing stages, he regained his well-deserved fourth place.

Top 5  Race 2 Le Mans Endurance Racing Legends:

  1. James Cottingham – #15 Dallara SP1 2002
  2. Shaun Lynn – #7 Bentley EXP Speed 8 2003
  3. Florent Moulin – #16 Dallara SP1 2001
  4. Martin Short – #88 Dallara SP1 2001
  5. Xavier Micheron – #14 Riley & Scott Mk III C 2003