ROUND ONE COMPLETED IN PORTUGAL The CRS Racing team has been on track in Portugal this weekend, competing in the FIA GT3 Championship, the first of two back-to-back events in the Algarve. Race one took place this morning and immediately took a...
ROUND ONE COMPLETED IN PORTUGAL
The CRS Racing team has been on track in Portugal this weekend, competing in the FIA GT3 Championship, the first of two back-to-back events in the Algarve.
Race one took place this morning and immediately took a dramatic turn for CRS when Klaas Hummel had a race-ending coming together with a Lamborghini on lap four. In the sister CRS Ferrari Phil Quaife got away well from his fourth place qualifying spot and was right up in second place and only 1.5 seconds from the lead when he pitted to hand over to new recruit, Danny van Dongen. Danny also had a great run but whilst running in third place, just a few minutes before the chequered flag, the car's ECU went into safe mode and the Dutchman had to limp home. Phil and Danny were still the top finishing Ferrari though so earned a trip to the podium for their efforts.
With race two following just a few hours later there wasn't enough time to repair the No.55 Ferrari which meant that Klaas and his team-mate Chris Goodwin had no choice other than to sit the race out. Danny made a great start from 19th on the grid and was all the way up to ninth by the end of lap one. Unfortunately he was then pushed off by a BMW which dropped him all the way back to 22nd place. When Phil took over he had to battle with rather rearranged rear suspension as a result of this but between the two of them they hustled the Ferrari all the way back up to eighth.
"Phil was blinding in that final stint," said Team Director Andrew Kirkaldy. " Danny has made a very strong debut, considering the limited time he has had in the car. The positives we can take from this weekend are that we were fast and on for a podium finish in both races."
The rest of the CRS Racing team will head out to the Algarve in a few days for round six of the FIA GT Championship, which takes place this weekend. The FIA GT drivers tested at the Portimao track back in the spring so they all know what to expect from the track that is often described as a rollercoaster ride.
Chris Niarchos' goal in Portugal will be to extend his lead in the Citation Cup. This is a separate competition for amateur racing drivers and Chris has a 10-point lead going into the last three races of the season.
"I think it will help us to have had this GT3 weekend in advance of next week," said Andrew Kirkaldy. "We now have more experience and knowledge of the track so that must stand us in good stead. We had a difficult weekend in Budapest so I hope we can turn that around and have a good race in Portugal."
TELEVISION COVERAGE: The Portuguese round of the FIA GT Championship will be shown LIVE on Motors TV on Sunday 20 September, starting at 2pm BST. Please check listings on the day.