CR SCUDERIA WINS FIRST RACE! Paddy Shovlin and Michael Cullen stormed to victory at Oulton Park today, taking the first win of the 2008 British GT season and the first victory for the CR Scuderia team. The Irish pair drove a faultless race and...
CR SCUDERIA WINS FIRST RACE!
Paddy Shovlin and Michael Cullen stormed to victory at Oulton Park today, taking the first win of the 2008 British GT season and the first victory for the CR Scuderia team. The Irish pair drove a faultless race and took a thoroughly deserved victory in a race that was shortened due to some on-track dramas.
The three red, white and blue CRS Ferraris led away the field at the start of the race with Michael Meadows starting well from pole, closely followed by Paddy and then Jeremy Metcalfe. The safety car made its first appearance at the end of lap one after Piers Johnson went off in the Team Modena Lamborghini, but all the CRS cars got away cleanly at the restart just three laps later.
Halfway through the first stint Michael Meadows radioed in to say he was having problems with his brakes and shortly after this he straight-lined the Knickerbrook Chicane. He pitted at the end of that lap for checks and the team took the decision to retire him from the race. It transpired that the problem occurred as a result of that car running over debris during the qualifying session earlier today.
Michael's retirement meant that Paddy was now in a lead that was to prove unassailable for the rest of the field; quite incredible for a man who has never been to Oulton Park before! A seamless pit-stop where he handed the car over to Michael Cullen sealed the deal and Michael brought Ferrari no.15 over the line to take the win, after having to contend with a rather over zealous Adam Wilcox.
Jeremy Metcalfe came in for his scheduled pit stop mid-way through the race to hand over the second place Ferrari to Luke Hines. Unfortunately a gear selection problem delayed Luke in the pits and that car had to settle for tenth.
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.15: Michael Cullen & Paddy Shovlin
MICHAEL CULLEN: "The car was brilliant and, after the effort that has been put in by this team, Paddy and I are proud to give them their first win. It's not going to be an easy year as this is a very competitive championship. We're used to close racing in the Ferrari Challenge but this was another level. I even took a big hit from behind by Wilcox at the end so it wasn't an easy ride. Chris (Niarchos), Andrew (Kirkaldy), Malcolm (Swetnam) and the team have done a great job so they deserve this!"
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.16: Luke Hines & Jeremy Metcalfe
JEREMY METCALFE: "Everything went well at the start and I was able to get away cleanly. The car was running well so it was a shame about the pit-stop. It's no-one's fault and we showed that we have the pace so we're looking forward to Monday."
CR Scuderia Ferrari no.14: James Sutton & Michael Meadows
MICHAEL MEADOWS: "I got a good start from pole and had to defend from Paddy a little until I was able to pull out a bit of a gap. Unfortunately not long into the race my ABS failed and I locked up my tyres going into the first corner, and soon after straight-lined Knickerbrook, so I came in to let the team have a look at the car. They decided not to take any risks and retired the car which was a sensible decision. We took pole so we know we have the pace and we hope to come out on top on Monday."
The British GT teams have a day off tomorrow before race two takes place on Easter Monday.