Monza, Italy -- 24 June 2007: The fourth round of the FIA GT Championship took place at a very hot and sunny Monza today, but unfortunately there was no sunshine for Scuderia Ecosse. After qualifying in eight and ninth places the team had a...
Monza, Italy -- 24 June 2007: The fourth round of the FIA GT Championship took place at a very hot and sunny Monza today, but unfortunately there was no sunshine for Scuderia Ecosse. After qualifying in eight and ninth places the team had a mountain to climb during the race. Tomas Enge and Tim Mullen finished the two-hour race in seventh position and Chris Niarchos and Andrew Kirkaldy's race ended 20 laps too soon after Niarchos slid wide at Parabolica.
Chris Niarchos started the race in Ferrari no.63, his first-ever FIA GT race start, before handing over to Andrew Kirkaldy to complete the middle stint and get up to fifth position. Just as Chris was getting into the final stint he went off at the last corner and was unable to rejoin the race.
Tomas Enge started Ferrari no.62 and made his way up to sixth place before the first pit stop. He handed the car to Tim Mullen after 45 minutes and Tim was quickly up to speed, but after a few minutes he radioed in to say his engine had died. As soon as he stopped a marshal opened his door but at that moment the Ferrari roared into life and off Tim went. The marshal didn't get chance to shut the door properly so that was an added distraction for Tim for the remainder of his run. Tomas jumped in for the final stint and brought the car home in seventh place.
"Well I loved qualifying and loved starting the race. Unfortunately I got caught behind the Viper at the beginning and the GT2 pack got away from me. I went off at the start of the last stint; going into Parabolica there was less grip than I thought, the back of the car slid and I couldn't get it back. The marshals were quick to tow me off backwards and that was the end of my race."
"Chris qualified this weekend and also started the race which was good experience for him. The car was pretty good and we did the best job we could. When I was out I was able to lap consistently quickly and pass a couple of cars."
"At the start of the race the car was oversteering as the rears were going off; I was struggling with it but I was able to hold my position. Tim went out for the middle stint on my old tyres so he had a tough job. For the last stint I had new rears and it was like driving a totally different car with a lot more grip. I had a good fight with the Tech 9 Porsche at the end and got within a second before running out of time."
"I really struggled with oversteer today. I did the middle stint and we didn't put any new tyres on for my run so it was very difficult out there. We put new rear's on for Tomas' run which helped a lot but it was too late in the race by then."
Stewart Roden, Team Principal:
"That was a lot of hard work today. We were having engine problems with #62; the engine was cutting out and not pulling out of the corners. In car 63 Chris did a god job, putting in some very good times, but we have to remember he's out there against some real pros! Andrew was right on the pace when he was on track so we know that car is okay. Obviously we didn't get the results we wanted but we know what we need to do to move forward."
The team is staying on at Monza for a Pirelli tyre test on Tuesday where the driving duties will be shared between Tomas Enge, Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Mullen. The next race for the team is round 5 of the FIA GT Championship at Oschersleben in two weeks' time, with the Spa test day taking place before that on 2 July. The driver line-up at Oschersleben will be Niarchos/Kirkaldy and Mullen/Janis.
-credit: scuderia ecosse