Bucharest, Romania -- 20 May 2007: The locals say there has been no rain in Bucharest for the last five weeks; until Friday when the GT teams took to the track around the streets of the city! A tight street circuit was made even harder by the ...
Bucharest, Romania -- 20 May 2007: The locals say there has been no rain in Bucharest for the last five weeks; until Friday when the GT teams took to the track around the streets of the city! A tight street circuit was made even harder by the conditions that changed throughout the weekend.
Scuderia Ecosse had to be content with a fifth-placed finish in Bucharest this afternoon after a bruising race around the city streets. The race was started behind the safety car; a decision taken after the many accidents in the races prior to the FIA GT race.
Both Jarek (Janis) and Tim (Mullen) got away well at the start from third and fifth places and quickly settled into their respective races. Jarek's first race for Scuderia Ecosse ended in the tyre wall after just ten minutes when the young Czech locked up going into turn one and hit the tyre barrier head on. It wasn't a fitting end to his weekend as he had settled in very quickly and done an impressive job for the team.
Tim Mullen started the race in fifth position and by the 20 minute mark he was up to fourth place after Jarek had retired. The safety car was deployed after an accident involving the Kessel Ferrari and one of the Jet Alliance Aston Martins, and Tim took the opportunity to dive into the pits to hand over to Andrew Kirkaldy.
At the restart Andrew was running in third position and ready to battle for a top spot but just before the half way mark he was hit by the Maserati of (Giambattista) Giannoccar which burst a tyre and forced him into the pits. He rejoined with a new wheel and a damaged track rod and after completing one more lap to check the car over and reach the mandatory 35 minutes, he pitted again to hand over to Tim Mullen.
Tim then got straight down to business and put in a fantastic stint, taking the second fastest lap of the race as he moved up from seventh to fifth place taking valuable Championship points for Ferrari no.62.
"I was pretty cautious at the start and then as the rain eased the car started to feel good and I could settle into my race. After I took the car for my second stint (after it was hit) it didn't feel great but it also didn't feel terrible considering the hit it had taken. With each lap I learnt to drive around the problem and was able to get the second fastest race lap after (Emmanuel) Collard."
"We were fast today and lying third in GT2 when I was hit by a Maserati. Going into the first corner the no.12 car tried to go up my inside and hit my right rear wheel, bursting the tyre and damaging the track rod which forced me into the pits for repairs."
"Prior to the race I have been extremely pleased with this weekend. My pace was the best it has been all season and I was less than a second off Andrew and Tim in practice. This was my first event at a street circuit and I loved it. It is extremely challenging but it was a fantastic experience. Obviously I'm disappointed that I didn't get to race but the most important thing is that Jarek is okay; cars are fixable, people aren't."
"The start was ok for me; one of the Porsches passed me but then I passed a GT1 Aston Martin soon after. Then I settled into it and was up to race pace but locked up going into turn one and that was the end of my race. I've had a good weekend until this point and enjoyed the work I have done with the team."
Stewart Roden, Team Principal:
"I thought we had a first or second place in the bag today but no.62 got hit by a Maserati and no.63 finished in the wall. I think Jarek just locked up on the water and there was nothing he could do from there. Tim did a sterling job and I'm sorry that Chris didn't get to have a go as he's been really good here. The good news though is that the car isn't too badly damaged and it will be back in mint condition for Le Mans."
The next event for Scuderia Ecosse is the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours which starts with the test day on 3 June. The team will announce its line-up for Le Mans very soon.