Best of the season!
By Lindsay Morle
Sep 30, 2007, 17:21
The Scuderia Ecosse team took its best result of the 2007 FIA GT season at Nogaro today with a third-place finish for Andrew Kirkaldy and Rob Bell, closely followed by Darren Turner and Tim Mullen in fourth.
The team had a tough time in qualifying. Andrew Kirkaldy managed to get the 63 Ferrari up into fifth place but Darren Turner could only manage eighth after a spin. To make things even harder Ferrari 63 required an engine change after suffering an oil leak in the warm up session this morning so that car had to start the race from the pitlane.
Today’s result is a real boost for Scuderia Ecosse as the team has moved ahead of Edil Cris into third place in the Teams’ Championship and now sits just 3.5 points shy of BMS Scuderia Italia in second place.
“I started the race from the pitlane today as we had to change our engine after morning warm-up. I managed to catch the GT2 pack pretty quickly and was running behind Darren (Turner) for a while before I found a way past. We lost some time in the first pit-stop and ended up with an 18 second deficit to no.62 (Turner/Mullen) but Rob (Bell) did a fantastic middle stint and pulled back ten seconds. We were ahead again after the final pit-stops, running in third. I tried to catch Collard’s Porsche but I couldn’t make enough headway in the time we had left so we crossed the line third. I’m really pleased with the result; starting in the pitlane and finishing on the podium is excellent!”
“I think Andrew has said it all. I had a good time out there today and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the car. I concentrated on keeping out of trouble and putting in consistent lap times. It was plain-sailing really! It’s always good to be on the podium and I’m delighted for the whole team that we got a positive result.”
“I had a spin in qualifying when the car just got away from me. We started that session on the back foot as it was my first run on the new tyres and the result was that we lined up for the race in eighth place. The tyres from qualifying were flat-spotted and we had to start the race on that set so that compromised our strategy; we had to do a short first stint. Having said all that we started eighth and finished fourth so I’m reasonably happy. It was a good overall result for the team and now I’m looking forward to Zolder.”
“I enjoyed my stint today and had a good battle with Philipp Peter in the no.59 Ferrari but ultimately he forced us to pit earlier than we planned to. It’s so hard to overtake at Nogaro and every time I got close to him it slowed me down. I’ve had quite an easy race weekend compared to normal as Darren did qualifying and the two race stints. It was a good result for the team this weekend and certainly helps us in the battle for runner-up spot in the Teams’ Championship.”
Stewart Roden, Team Principal:
“That was a good result for us. All four drivers drove brilliantly and we have a proper fight on now for second place in the Championship. We have everything to play for at Zolder!”
There is now just one race to go in the 2007 FIA GT Championship and Scuderia Ecosse will be fighting for second place in the Teams’ Championship at Zolder in just three weeks’ time (20/21 October).