Rounds 7 & 8 Castle Combe & Donington Park - Race Report
By Lindsay Morle
Jun 20, 2004, 18:10
Over the last two weeks the Scuderia Ecosse team has been through the highs and lows of motor racing; the delight from the two wins at Snetterton tempered by a tough weekend for the team at Castle Combe.
A rain shower during the first qualifying session on Saturday put paid to Nathan Kinch’s efforts to set the fastest time as he spun on the slippery track, losing the 360 GTC’s rear wing in the process. A replacement rear wing was soon despatched to Castle Combe from Brackley (thank you to Sam Li at Veloqx Motorsport!), which arrived at the Wiltshire track just as the race began. Unfortunately Nathan had another spin before the wing could be replaced which retired the car from the race.
The sister Ferrari of Tim Mullen and Chris Niarchos had a much better time on Saturday as Tim qualified it in second place for the start of Sunday’s race. On his return to racing, Chris Niarchos began Saturday’s race in seventh position, put in a strong performance, and handed the car over to Tim in sixth place. Tim then continued the fight for positions and brought the car home in a solid fifth place.
Saturday night and Sunday morning was a busy period for the team as they worked to get the 360 GTC of Kirkaldy and Kinch fit for the lunchtime race. The car just made it to the pits in time so Andrew Kirkaldy was able to start the race from the end of the pitlane. Unfortunately the start was all that was possible as during the run down the pitlane the car had gear selection problems so it was a ‘DNF’ for Car #35.
Tim Mullen in the meantime had got off to a good start and was fighting to keep his place in the pack. Transmission gremlins also caused Tim problems and he lost a few positions, eventually bringing the car in for Chris Niarchos in sixth position. Chris put in as solid a drive as ever and kept his cool beautifully when the heavens opened in the closing laps. Sixth place for Car #34 meant more valuable points in the bag for the team and a collective sigh of relief that the weekend was over.
“I don’t want to have too many weekends like that as they’re not good for me! I think we had our annual quota of bad luck this weekend, at least I hope so. The GTC is on its way back to Scotland now so we can repair it properly in time for the FIA race at Donington. We’re down but we’re certainly not out and we can’t wait for next weekend!”