The new McLaren 650S GT3 scored its first international victory following a dominant performance in Sunday’s Blancpain Endurance Series round at Silverstone.
The No. 58 Von Ryan Racing entry of factory drivers Rob Bell, Shane van Gisebergen and Kevin Estre cruised to a 23.281-second win on home soil for the British manufacturer.
Von Ryan benefitted by pitting while under the race’s first Full Course Yellow, which put V8 Supercar ace van Gisebergen out front with a 40-second lead in the second hour.
Estre’s lead was reduced in the closing minutes, thanks to a late-race charge by Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra.
The Belgian driver rallied to second after losing more than 20 seconds when co-driver Robin Frijns slowed on track in the second hour with an electrical issue.
The sister No. 3 WRT entry, driven by Frank Stippler, Stephane Richelmi and Stephane Ortelli completed the overall and Pro Cup podium in third, thanks to a penalty for the No. 75 ISR Audi of Marco Bonanomi for exceeding track limits.
Five seconds was added to the Czech Audi’s cumulative time, dropping it to fourth, ahead of the No. 73 MRS GT Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which completed the top-five in the hands of Martin Plowman.
Plowman, as well as Bonanomi made their final stops while under a second Full Course Yellow with 55 minutes remaining, which elevated both cars to podium contention.
The No. 8 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 finished sixth after a pair of incidents, while the No. 333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 was seventh after briefly leading the race late in the opening hour.
The No. 23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN car led from pole in the hands of Wolfgang Reip but a collision with a lapped car and delay during its first pit stop dropped it out of contention.
Alex Buncombe rebounded to cross the line 13th overall and in class.
Pro-Am Cup honors went to the No. 32 Leonard Motorsport AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 of Paul Wilson, Stuart Leonard and Michael Meadows, which finished 14th overall.
Leonard held off the No. 22 Nissan of Jann Mardenborough for the class win, after a dominant early run by the class pole-sitting No. 888 Triple Eight Racing BMW Z4 GT3, which faded late in the running.
Boutsen Ginon Racing’s Olivier Grotz and Karim Ojjeh, meanwhile, scored top Am Cup class honors in their BMW.
Next up for the Blancpain Endurance Series is the Paul Ricard 1000 on June 19-20.