Belfast Telegraph

Penalty mix-up ruined my shot at Monza glory, says Kane

 

By Sammy Hamill

Steven Kane believes a misunderstanding between his Bentley team and race officials robbed him of a chance to win the opening round of the Blancpain European Endurance Championship at Monza.

The Ulsterman had been among the fastest drivers in qualifying but never got to take part in Sunday's race after his No.7 Bentley Continental GT3, being driven by team-mate Guy Smith, was disqualified for failing to respond to a stop-go penalty.

Smith was deemed responsible for a first-lap accident which eliminated 10 cars including the Strakka McLaren of Kane's fellow Ulsterman Andrew Watson.

Bentley motorsport boss Brian Gush said they believed they had been given permission by the stewards to appeal the penalty.

"We were told we could appeal and we went away to do the paperwork and gather the data, but when we went back we were told that we couldn't actually appeal," he explained. "There was definitely a miscommunication."

The stop-go became a black flag because the instructions for Smith to take the original penalty had been ignored, which included presenting a board to the driver five times.

Smith believed that he had been hit by Ezequiel Perez Companc as he tried to squeeze between the Grasser Lamborghini and the pole-winning AF Corse Ferrari of Pasin Lathouras.

Kane, who also shares the Bentley with Ollie Jarvis, felt they had a genuine chance of victory on a track he loves.

"The win could have been ours but it was taken away because of a miscommunication and through no fault of our own," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, doubles were the order of the day at Kirkistown on Saturday with Niall Murray winning both Formula Ford races, Gavin Stanfield taking two wins in the roadsport races in his Subaru Impreza and Thomas Agnew also winning twice in the Ford Fiestas.

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