Spa-Francorchamps, 30 July 2006: The Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari of Nathan Kinch, Andrew Kirkaldy and Marino Franchitti finished the 2006 Proximus 24 Hours of Spa in third place, a fantastic reward for a very tough 24 hours of racing. The sister ...
Spa-Francorchamps, 30 July 2006: The Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari of Nathan Kinch, Andrew Kirkaldy and Marino Franchitti finished the 2006 Proximus 24 Hours of Spa in third place, a fantastic reward for a very tough 24 hours of racing. The sister Ferrari of Chris Niarchos, Tim Mullen and Allan Simonsen also finished in the points in sixth position.
The drama kicked in again just after 1000hrs when Tim Mullen pitted from fifth place as no.63's front splitter was coming down again. The team took the time to do a proper repair and service before sending him on his way 25 minutes later in eighth place. An hour later Marino Franchitti took third place as the Spyker pitted with a mechanical problem. Things ran smoothly from then on with everything going to plan, apart from a sudden rain shower just two hours before the end of the race.
Nathan Kinch: "We had a fantastic result today. I want to thank the team and Michelin for doing a great job. I unfortunately made a mistake and put it in the wall so we were playing catch-up after that. It was a damage limitation exercise but the end result was good."
Andrew Kirkaldy: "I was very happy with the start, especially as I was able to pass the new Porsches. I think with these races that to finish is one thing but a podium is quite another. AF Corse didn't make any mistakes but we did and that is why they won. The car ran faultlessly, we've scored some important points and there's still a lot to play for."
Marino Franchitti: "I really enjoyed that! It's great o be part of a Scottish team as I can talk in my normal dialect and they can understand me. It would have been nice to be able to battle with AF Corse but I think we put in a good Scottish underdog performance: on the ropes but we fought back for the podium!"
Chris Niarchos: "This is such an awesome event. It's definitely the most physically challenging race I have ever done. We had a small problem which had a domino effect but that's how these things go. Tim and Allen were consummate professionals and I gave one of my most consistent performances. Spa is a challenge at the best of times so my double stint in the dark was an interesting experience. It was a lot of fun and I'd love to come back and do it all again."
Tim Mullen: "That was a tough race for our car. We were going well at the start before I was hit by a GT1 car. We worked our way aback up to second but then we had the problem with the splitter. It seems that every time we got back in the case we got knocked back down again."
Allan Simonsen: "I was very pleased to have the opportunity to drive with Chris and Tim. We tried as hard as we could, we were fast and consistent, but luck wasn't on our side. We got some points though and the car is in one piece and I was really pleased to see the other car get a podium finish if we couldn't."
Stewart Roden, Team Principal: "It's great to get both cars home, pretty much intact too! That was a tough race for us and I'm delighted with my team as they worked incredibly hard. The FIA GT Championship is very much alive. There are plenty of points still up for grabs and I hope we can disprove the theory that the Spa winners go on to win the FIA GT Championship."
Next up for Scuderia Ecosse is the next two rounds of the British GT Championship at Rockingham in two weeks' time.