THE ITALIAN DREAM Chris Niarchos and Tim Mullen took CRS Racing's first International GT Open victory at Imola in Italy this afternoon, securing the first GT Open win for a British team. In race one on Saturday afternoon Tim Mullen got away...
THE ITALIAN DREAM
Chris Niarchos and Tim Mullen took CRS Racing's first International GT Open victory at Imola in Italy this afternoon, securing the first GT Open win for a British team.
In race one on Saturday afternoon Tim Mullen got away well in the No.91 CRS Ferrari. He started from fourth on the grid and made his way right up to second place by lap four. He held this position until the pit stops when he came in to hand over to Chris Niarchos. Chris had a great run, taking the lead at one point and having a fantastic battle with the No.12 Aston Martin, before an uncharacteristic spin dropped him down to fourth. The duo finished the race in sixth position.
Klaas Hummel started race one in the No.90 Ferrari, moving up from 17th to 15th during his run. Once the race re-settled after the pit-stops, Chris Goodwin was behind the wheel and running in 18th place. Some great driving saw him move right up to 13th before another car turned in on him at turn eight, breaking his steering and forcing him to retire on lap 30.
Qualifying had been tough for the second of the weekend's two races as the team struggled with the balance of the Ferraris on a greasy track. Chris Niarchos lined up in 16th place with Chris Goodwin just ahead of him in 13th. The start itself went well for CRS but then all hell broke loose on the start/finish straight, which resulted in four wrecked GT cars and a red-flagged race. Niarchos and Goodwin were well ahead of this so avoided the melee and lined up to wait for the restart.
When the restart came Goodwin came though in seventh place with Niarchos right on his tail in eighth. It wasn't long before the pit window opened, as the clock hadn't stopped ticking when the race was stopped, so Niarchos dived in to hand the Ferrari over to Tim Mullen.
"It was an inspired move by the team," said Niarchos. "It meant that Tim went out on a clear track and was able to bang in some very quick laps before everyone else pitted. The net result was that we took the lead so it was definitely a good call. It's very rewarding for us to take our first GT Open win and it's also good to be the first British team to do so. Let's hope we can continue the trend next time out."
Klaas Hummel's prowess as a racing driver is growing every day, helped in no small part by a productive test at Spa last week.
"Klaas is driving with a lot more confidence now," commented Niarchos. "He did a great job in yesterday's race, driving very well and steadily picking up places. He did a good job again today when he took over from Chris Goodwin. He had a bit of a spin at Rivazza towards the end of the race, which flat-spotted his tyres. He came in because he thought he had a puncture but it was all okay. It's good to see him making improvements all the time."
-source: crs racing