Scuderia Ecosse collected a good haul of points at Silverstone today but only time will tell if it was enough for the Championship success the team is striving for.
| Rounds 11 & 12 Silverstone - Race Report
By Lindsay Morle
Aug 15, 2004, 18:14
Saturday’s first qualifying session saw Nathan Kinch take his second pole position of the season and Chris Niarchos grab a fantastic fourth place. Session two was completely dominated by Andrew Kirkaldy who took his fourth pole of the year with a lap time two seconds faster than anyone else. A great lap by Tim Mullen put the other Ferrari into second spot giving the team the coveted 1-2 grid positions.
For the Silverstone event, instead of the usual Saturday race and Sunday race, both races were held on Sunday. Race one began well for the team with both Andrew and Chris holding onto their grid positions. Whilst Nathan began the now familiar campaign to build a 20 second lead on the competition, Chris came under attack from amongst others the TVRs and was down in eighth place by lap three. Not one to wait around though Chris soon got stuck in and had climbed to fifth place by the time the pit window opened and he came in to hand over to his team mate. Tim soon set about reeling in Paula Cook’s Corvette which he overtook for fourth. A spin for Greensall let Tim sail through for the third place podium spot.
Nathan pitted with a good lead and Andrew set out on his stint in P1, ultimately having a rather lonely race to the chequered flag, but mindful of looking after the car as there was another race later in the day. The victory for Andrew and Nathan is their fourth this year.
The second race of the day was a rather mixed affair for the team. Just a couple of laps into the race, one of competitors cars deposited a trail of oil on the track that stretched from Bridge all the way through to Becketts, so out came the Safety Car whilst the marshals leapt into action to mop up the oil. To add to the fun the rain that had been threatening finally began to fall. By the time the pit stops began, the rain had stopped so a decision had to be made on tyre choice. The Safety Car had come out again at this point so a lot of cars took the opportunity to dive into the pits at the same time. Tim decided to stick with slicks as a dry line was starting to form around the track. Andrew called for intermediates as it was hard to be sure how fast the track was drying. Unfortunately the air jack failed during the pit stop for Car 35 so Nathan had to join the race on slick tyres. With both cars on slicks it soon became apparent that those who had pitted for intermediates were in much better shape, lapping a good ten seconds faster.
Once everything settled down Scuderia Ecosse finished a confusing race third and fourth in class. The second trip to the podium for Andrew and Nathan was a good result but not the one they wanted.
“Individual wins are great but we’re here to win the Championship. The first race was fine for us today as we had good conditions and a clear run to build up a good gap to the competition. This afternoon wasn’t so good! It’s pretty clear that any drama in the first half of the race effectively puts us out of contention as Safety Car outings, bad weather and the like prevent us from building up a good enough lead for the win.”
“We definitely had the best car here this weekend so naturally it’s disappointing not to be leaving with two trophies for first place. It was good to get the first win but we were up against it this afternoon with the weather and the Safety Car periods.”
“I was really pleased to get the podium in race one as Chris and I haven’t really had the luck lately. It was good to be back up at the top end. The second race was a tricky one as we were lying second at the changeover but the track didn’t dry as quickly as we expected and Chris was out there on slicks. I have to say though he did a fantastic job considering this is the first time he has raced a GT car at Silverstone because it was pretty slippery out there today.”
“I was absolutely delighted with the first race as it was good to be up there so close to Andrew and Nathan. The second race was a new experience for me. I’ve done very little running in the wet so being out there on slicks certainly focussed my attention! I’m pleased to say though that I kept it on the track and brought the car home in the points so all in all a successful weekend.”
Stewart Roden, Scuderia Ecosse Team Principal
“It’s good to see Chris and Tim getting back up there and obviously great to take the win earlier today. Race two didn’t go our way at all. It’s pretty clear that there’s nothing we can do to overcome the penalty if conditions are anything other than perfect. The Championship is by no means over but we have one hell of a mountain to climb and I’m not expecting a smooth path!”
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