Round two of the 2008 FIA GT Championship takes place next week at Monza, the place where Italians go to worship motorsport. The 'Pista Magica', as Monza is known locally, is the fastest track on the FIA GT calendar, and it is one that every...
Round two of the 2008 FIA GT Championship takes place next week at Monza, the place where Italians go to worship motorsport. The 'Pista Magica', as Monza is known locally, is the fastest track on the FIA GT calendar, and it is one that every Ferrari team relishes. To win at Monza in a Ferrari is a special feeling for a racing driver so the CR Scuderia boys will be going all out to hit the top spot next weekend.
Andrew Kirkaldy and Rob Bell got off to a great start at Silverstone a few weeks ago and will be hoping to improve on their second place finish. Rob has already raced a GT2 Ferrari 430 at Monza this season when he took part in the Le Mans Series race there and showed outstanding pace, setting pole position for the 1000km race. Tim Mullen has a new team-mate at Monza as Chris Niarchos has other business commitments that weekend. Tim will be joined by international GT racer Tim Sugden who has competed with many of the CRS team members before.
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.56: Andrew Kirkaldy & Rob Bell ANDREW KIRKALDY: "Silverstone was the first FIA GT race for the team and I think it went well generally but we all thought there were areas we could improve on. We've been working hard on those areas and we know what we need to do now. We know Monza well from the test and from previous races so we'll be looking for a top result."
ROB BELL: "I think it shows our intentions when Andrew and I were disappointed to finish second at Silverstone. We're in this to win and, after having to retire from the lead of the LMS race at Monza (with bodywork damage caused by punctures), I am even more determined to get the right result this time."
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.55: Tim Sugden & Tim Mullen TIM SUGDEN: "I'm delighted to have been offered the opportunity to race with CR Scuderia at Monza. I know all the people in the team very well and can't wait to drive for such a well-equipped and well-organised team. Monza is also one of my favourite tracks and I'm sure the combination of myself and Tim Mullen will work brilliantly."
TIM MULLEN: "Monza is a fantastic track and I think most drivers enjoy racing there. It's definitely a track that suits the Ferrari as you can really stretch your legs there. It will be good to race with Tim (Sugden) and I'm hoping we can go all out from the start and do the best we can."
CR Scuderia Team Principal, Chris Niarchos: "I am so looking forward to our race at Monza. Although I will not be present due to other business commitments I am extremely confident of my team in my absence. They are an incredible group of professionals who have done a fantastic job so far this year and I expect Monza to be no different. Tim Sugden, who will be replacing me, is a driver of the highest calibre who has raced with me and for Cobra on many occasions and I have the highest respect for him. His partnership with Tim Mullen will give the team an even greater competitiveness than it already has and I look forward to hearing all the news as it happens. I will be in attendance in Adria in June and can't wait to drive again myself."
The FIA GT Championship is broadcast in the UK on ITV4 (same-day delayed for Monza) with qualifying and highlights programming on Sky Sports, Channel 4 and Men & Motors.
Live coverage is available in France and French-speaking areas on Sport +, from the Canal + group. There will also be improved live coverage on leading German sports TV channel DSF, making this season's races available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Sky Italia will broadcast live in Italy, as will Sport 1 in the Netherlands and Sport TV in Portugal, while TV Sport 5 in the Czech and Slovak Republics will show the FIA GT Championship live.
The FIA GT Championship is covered live on pan-Asian network ESPN STAR, reaching 70 million homes in over 20 countries. Other new markets include Greece, where SuperSport will carry both the FIA GT and GT3 European Championships live, while in the Middle East, both the FIA GT and FIA GT3 European Championship will be shown live on Showtime. Coverage will improve in Belgium, with Sunday afternoon scheduling on RTL, following on from the MotoGP programmes. Fox Sports in Australia will show the GT highlights, while in South America, FIA GT and FIA GT3 highlights will continue to be shown on Speed.
(Please check TV listings for up-to-date schedules)