Brno: Scuderia Ecosse race report

Brno, Czech Republic: 28 May 2006 - Just when it looked like Scuderia Ecosse had their first ever FIA GT victory all sewn up, everything changed in the dying minutes of today's race at Brno. Enough drama for three hours was packed into the last...

Brno, Czech Republic: 28 May 2006 - Just when it looked like Scuderia Ecosse had their first ever FIA GT victory all sewn up, everything changed in the dying minutes of today's race at Brno. Enough drama for three hours was packed into the last ten minutes of the race with the eventual GT2 winner, the JMB Ferrari 430, moving up from fifth to first in the final few laps. Tim Mullen and Phil Bennett finished the race in fourth place with Nathan Kinch and Andrew Kirkaldy in 12th after an accident in the closing stages. Just as at Silverstone the Scuderia Ecosse cars topped the timesheets in every session with Mullen and Kirkaldy quickest in the two practice sessions, pole position for Mullen, fastest warm up time for Kinch and fastest race lap for Kirkaldy.

Unfortunately, as at Silverstone, victory was elusive. The competition between five of the Ferrari 430s is fierce with all five cars being very evenly matched. At the start of the race Mullen was caught by Jaime Melo, so quickly set off in pursuit. Kirkaldy meanwhile had started from the pit lane, due to problems with his engine the previous day, but he was up with the leading pack after just 10 minutes.

The race then settled into a familiar rhythm and Nathan Kinch and Phil Bennett, deputising for Chris Niarchos this weekend, took their turns during the middle stint. The lead Ferraris were swapping places throughout the race and at around ten minutes before the end the order was Aguas, Kirkaldy, Mullen, Alexander, Collard, Melo. Kirkaldy was catching Aguas by two seconds a lap before it all went wrong. In a rare error the Scot locked up and slid into Aguas, taking both Ferraris out of contention. Tim Mullen went on to finish fourth but it was a shell- shocked team that left Brno tonight, still trying to work out how everything can change in just a few short minutes.

Stewart Roden, Team Principal: "I think I can safely say that is the most disappointing result we have had. We were on for the win and another podium spot but we lost it. Andrew had a long brake pedal, locked his fronts and slid into Aguas, whilst trying to pass him for the lead. He admits blame but is as clueless as me as to how it happened as he just doesn't make mistakes like that. We had to report to the stewards after the incident and we will now lose ten grid places at Oschersleben as punishment. I don't think we'll analyse this one too much. I'd rather just wipe it!"

-scuderia ecosse

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Nathan Kinch , Chris Niarchos , Tim Mullen , Andrew Kirkaldy , Phil Bennett