Zhuhai, People's Republic of China -- 25 March 2007: While Europe slept last night the 2007 FIA GT Championship roared into life at Zhuhai in China. Scuderia Ecosse had to settle for fourth (Mullen/Enge) and sixth (Niarchos/Kirkaldy) places after...
Zhuhai, People's Republic of China -- 25 March 2007: While Europe slept last night the 2007 FIA GT Championship roared into life at Zhuhai in China. Scuderia Ecosse had to settle for fourth (Mullen/Enge) and sixth (Niarchos/Kirkaldy) places after an incident-packed race but they leave China with the knowledge that they have the pace to get the job done this year.
The first race of the season is always full of drama and it started early on in the first free practice session when the no.62 Ferrari blew its engine. This meant that Mullen and Enge were left playing catch-up as Tim had to qualify without having done any set-up work and Tomas didn't even get to drive until the race day warm up session. When the race got underway, after losing places at the start, Kirkaldy surged through into the GT2 lead by the end of lap one and built up almost a 20-second gap to the second-placed car. It was to no avail though as the charge was scuppered by the safety car later on and #63 went a lap down and lost out on what should have been a podium finish.
Tim and Tomas had to fight their way through from the back of grid as a result of their engine change and had a few dramas of their own including an extra pit stop.
After the race Stewart Roden reflected on the season-opener: "There was a lot going on this weekend and I think we've had more than our share of dramas. Fourth and sixth place don't reflect our pace at all; I think we have what we need to win this year so we'll be back at Silverstone to prove that."
NOTE: Following scrutineering in Zhuhai, the race-winning BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche 997 has been excluded from the results due to a technical infringement (ground clearance).
This means that Tim Mullen and Tomas Enge are now classified third whilst Chris Niarchos and Andrew Kirkaldy take fifth place.