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Silverstone: Scuderia Ecosse race report

Silverstone, UK -- 6 May 2007: Nigel Mansell made his return to Ferrari today in the FIA GT Championship at Silverstone. The British champion had a lot of fun in the two-hour race which he started before handing over to his team-mate, Chris ...

Silverstone, UK -- 6 May 2007: Nigel Mansell made his return to Ferrari today in the FIA GT Championship at Silverstone. The British champion had a lot of fun in the two-hour race which he started before handing over to his team-mate, Chris Niarchos. Nigel jumped in for the final stint of the race and brought the Ferrari across the line in seventh position. The Scuderia Ecosse sister car of Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Mullen finished in fifth place after both cars suffered with handling problems.

Nigel Mansell OBE:

"I've really enjoyed my experience with the team; they are a great bunch of lads and I'm just disappointed for them that their usual pace wasn't there. We had the pace but the tyres went away so quickly today. This was the first time I have ever had to share my car and it was good to share with Chris (Niarchos) who is a great guy. I would have liked for us to be more competitive but the team know what needs to be done. I'm pleased I've sampled the series; there were some fabulous drivers out there today, and some bullies too! I've had a great workout and everyone is now asking me what happens next. Well, who knows?! I want to say thank you to Stewart (Roden) as I've had a fantastic weekend with him and his team."

Chris Niarchos:

"I had a great drive today. Yes, the car was a handful but I just drove as hard as I could and was actually quicker than Tim (Mullen) so I've no complaints! I struggled yesterday, which was a bit of a shock after my good form at Estoril, so I wanted to make sure I did a good job today. It all seemed to flow so I could keep it clean and do a good job for Nigel. It's hard to explain what it has been like to drive with him. It was an awesome experience, one of the best of my life, and I would relish the opportunity to do it again."

Andrew Kirkaldy:

"I got jumped at the start by (Sean) Edwards but I decided to bide my time as I knew I would be able to pass him later. Unfortunately my tyres went off after four or five laps so it all became a lot of hard work. The car was really sliding around so from that point on I was a sitting duck. My second stint was better but still not as it should be. It's a shame as the three cars in front of me were all within reach if my car had been its usual self. I'm frustrated as it's hard to swallow going from pole position and having to settle for fifth place. This will just fire us up to do better though so hopefully we'll come back strong in Bucharest."

Tim Mullen:

"We struggled to get a lot of laps out of the tyres this weekend so we will be working hard with Pirelli to make sure we can make the tyres last. I took over the car from Andrew and didn't get new rubber so it was pretty tough for me but I had to make the best of it and do the best I could."

Stewart Roden, Scuderia Ecosse team principal:

"It's been quite an experience having Nigel with us this weekend and I want to say on behalf of the whole team that we have enjoyed every moment of it. Nigel is incredibly popular which we realised when we took him to do an autograph session today and he got mobbed! He takes the time to speak to everyone and involves every member of the team which I know the boys all appreciated. We made a mistake on tyre choice today so we're disappointed not to be able to give Nigel a winning car but it has been a lot of fun all the same."

Next up for Scuderia Ecosse is round three of the FIA GT Championship in Bucharest in two weeks' time. This will be Jarek Janis' first race with the team, the young Czech partnering Tim Mullen, whilst Chris Niarchos and Andrew Kirkaldy return to racing together again.

-credit: se

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