BETTER LUCK TOMORROW?
Paddy Shovlin and Michael Cullen finished round 11 of the 2008 Avon Tyres British GT Championship in fourth place at Brands Hatch today with team-mates Jeremy Metcalfe and Luke Hines finishing in ninth after struggling throughout the one-hour race with the handling of their Ferrari. James Sutton and Michael Meadows were unable to finish, suffering an engine fire after a fantastic run in second place.
The race started well for the CR Scuderia boys, with Meadows, Shovlin and Metcalfe all making great starts, and running in 2-3-4 formation during the first half. Shovlin was having a particularly good day after taking his first British GT pole position this morning and all the CRS cars did a great job of staying in touch with the Championship-leading Viper.
When the pit window opened the Viper was first in, followed shortly by Meadows who handed over to James Sutton. James joined the race in the lead, after jumping the Viper in the pits, but a few laps later it was all over when he retired with smoke coming from the rear of the Ferrari.
Metcalfe came in to hand over to Luke Hines but complained of heavy oversteer which Hines then struggled with for the remainder of the race. Most of the action in the closing stages came from Michael Cullen who, having taken over from Shovlin, was pitched into a battle with Oliver Bryant's Viper, the two cars trading places corner after corner, lap after lap. Cullen was the victor in that battle but then found his mirrors full of a charging Allan Simonsen. The Irishman held off the Dane for a long time, running side by side on many occasions but ran wide at the very last corner, losing two positions.
This is the last of the double-header Br itish GT rounds so there is another race tomorrow and the CR Scuderia boys will be looking for a much better result next time around.
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.16: Luke Hines & Jeremy Metcalfe
JEREMY METCALFE: "The car felt great this morning but then I had really bad oversteer during the race. There was nothing I could do about it; I managed to hold off the Lamborghini in fifth place but it was tough."
LUKE HINES: "The car didn't handle as it normally would under braking today. It felt okay this morning so we'll work hard tonight to find out what's wrong and put it right for tomorrow."
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.14: James Sutton & Michael Meadows
MICHAEL MEADOWS: "I had a good stint today. The car was good and I was able to stay in touch with the lead Viper; he just drove away from me on the straights but I was all over him through the corners."
JAMES SUTTON: "We were all delighted with Michael's performance today. His first stint was the best we've seen all year, we had a smooth changeover and the team were able to get me out in front of the Viper. About three laps into my run I felt a slight loss of power then got a hint of a smell of smoke. This soon became very strong and I had to pit before the cockpit filled with smoke and that was the end of that."
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.15: Michael Cullen & Paddy Shovlin
MICHAEL CULLEN: "I had a fantastic battle with the Viper; he passed me on every straight and I passed him at every corner. I then saw Simonsen coming after me like a train. I was confident I could keep him behind me but then I overcooked it going into the last corner, lost momentum and lost the drag race to the line. I'm very disappointed not to be on the podium, especially after Paddy did such a great job getting pole position today."