Belfast Telegraph

Bentley Boys roll back the years to claim history

By Sammy Hamill

Steven Kane bridged a gap of more than 80 years as he steered a Bentley Continental over the finish line to win the Blancpain European Endurance championship round at Silverstone.

It was back in the 1930s when a Bentley was last seen on British circuit, taking part in the Ards TT races, but yesterday the Ballynahinch-born driver played the anchor role in a winning performance alongside team-mates Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick, the new 'Bentley Boys'.

They fought back from an early drive-through penalty to take the lead in the final 15 minutes of the three-hour race on the British Grand Prix circuit. And it was Kane who was at the wheel for the final stint, taking over from Meyrick in second place 17 seconds down on the leading ART McLaren of Andy Soucek.

Despite a safety car period which delayed his late charge and left him separated from the leader by four cars, Kane reeled in the McLaren at more than a second a lap and swept into the lead with time to spare and bring Bentley their first win in 84 years.

Kane was only too aware of the historic significance of the victory.

"It was an unbelievable win for us and all the more remarkable when you think that the last time a Bentley raced in the UK was on the Ards circuit not far from where I was born," he said.

"It was a fantastic effort by the whole team and a real honour for me to be at the wheel when the chequered flag came out."

The GT3 Continental has been built and prepared for racing by M-Sport, the Cumbrian company which heads up Ford's World Rally Championship programme.

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