Chris Niarchos and Tim Mullen put in two great performances at Silverstone this weekend and secured the runner-up spot in the British GT Driver's Championship, making it a clean sweep of results for Scuderia Ecosse.
Race One on Saturday was a terrific 'one-two' for Scuderia Ecosse and victory number 10 for reigning Champions Nathan Kinch and Andrew Kirkaldy. It was Kinch who started the race from pole position in car 35, with Chris Niarchos right behind in third place. Both cars held position at the start but Niarchos lost out to a charging Mike Jordan during the first lap. No matter though, Chris followed Jordan for a few laps then 10 minutes into the race took back his third place. Both drivers made clean pit-stops and Kirkaldy and Tim Mullen rejoined the race in first and third places respectively.
As Mullen began to close down the gap to second, it transpired that Embassy Racing had been having a spot of 'stopwatch trouble' and missed the pit window for switching over from Cunningham to Collins, earning themselves a stop-go penalty. This handed the advantage to Mullen who took up second place. A few minutes later the Safety Car was despatched while a pair of Porsches were recovered from the circuit. Once this work was done there was only enough time remaining for two flying laps and Kirkaldy and Mullen brought the Ferraris home for a one-two finish.
By securing pole position for the final race of the season Andrew Kirkaldy completed an unprecedented set of results. He and Nathan Kinch have taken every single GT2 pole position for the 2005 British GT Championship; thirteen out of thirteen!
The race itself had a familiar outcome: victory number eleven for the young Scots! With both Ferraris starting on the front row of the grid it was always going to be tight going into the first corner. Both Kirkaldy and Mullen got a tap going in but it was Mullen who found himself doing a quick pirouette before driving around to re-join the race. The spin dropped him to 13th so he would have a busy time ahead of him. As Kirkaldy pulled away at the front, Mullen got down to business and was up to fourth place by the 10 minute mark!
The pit stops ran smoothly for the team, Niarchos leaving the pits with a precautionary set of fresh rubber after the earlier off. Kinch continued where Kirkaldy left off and Niarchos set about chasing down Jones' Porsche, passing him for fourth with just ten minutes to go. The points they took for fourth were plenty for Niarchos and Mullen to take a well-deserved second place in the Driver's Championship.
Nathan Kinch (#35):
"I'd like to thank the team and of course Andrew who has been a great team-mate. He handed me the car with a massive lead so all I had to do was bring it home today. I'd also like to thank Dunlop who have done a fantastic job for us this year."
Andrew Kirkaldy (#35):
"Yesterday's race went well for us and we were delighted to get our tenth win. To then go and get our 11th win today was fantastic. Nathan did all the hard work yesterday but I was kept pretty busy today so fair's fair! The car was exceptional today and has been all year; I couldn't have asked for a better season!"
Chris Niarchos (#34):
"I'm delighted! I'm over-the-moon that Tim and I have bagged the runner-up spot for Scuderia Ecosse. We needed two good results this weekend to achieve it and that's what we got so we can go into the winter happy but fired up to go one better in 2006! We've had a super year and I've enjoyed every minute of it!"
Tim Mullen (#34):
"Like Chris says, this has been a great year for us and I've really enjoyed the racing. Chris has got better by the race and it's fantastic to watch him develop as a driver. I'm sure you'll be hearing more from us soon!"
The next event for Scuderia Ecosse is the final round of the LMES Championship at Istanbul on 12-13 November. <pre> RACE RESULT (Round 12): 1. Kinch/Kirkaldy (Ferrari 360 GTC) Scuderia Ecosse GT2 1:00:46.908 2. Niarchos/Mullen (Ferrari 360 GTC) Scuderia Ecosse GT2 +9.723 3. Collins/Cunningham (Porsche GT3 RSR) Embassy Racing GT2 +20.289 4. Jones/Jones (Porsche GT3 RS) Eurotech GT2 +25.651 5. Jordan/Caine (Porsche GT3 RSR) Eurotech GT2 +30.676
Fastest Lap: Kinch 1:32.869 on lap 2
Pole Position: Kinch 1:22.922
RACE RESULT (Round 13): 1. Kinch/Kirkaldy (Ferrari 360 GTC) Scuderia Ecosse GT2 1:00:33.280 2. Collins/Cunningham (Porsche GT3 RSR) Embassy Racing GT2 +23.617 3. Jordan/Caine (Porsche GT3 RSR) Eurotech GT2 +24.451 4. Niarchos/Mullen (Ferrari 360 GTC) Scuderia Ecosse GT2 +1 lap 5. Jones/Jones (Porsche GT3 RS) Eurotech GT2 +1 lap
Fastest Lap: Kirkaldy 1:23.013 on lap 5
Pole Position: Kirkaldy 1:21.449