07 July, 2010
The CRS Racing team was at Magny Cours in France this weekend for more International GT Open action. The racing proved to be hard work at the Nevers track with high temperatures making it even tougher on the troops. Andrew Kirkaldy partnered Klaas Hummel in the No.90 CRS Ferrari this weekend, the pair going head-to-head with CRS Team Principal, Chris Niarchos, and his team-mate Tim Mullen.
Tim Mullen started Saturday’s 70-minute race from eighth on the grid. Usually much higher in the standings, Mullen had battled with the set up of his Ferrari in qualifying and had to settle for row four after it became apparent that the Magny Cours circuit seemed to suit the Porsches somewhat better than the Ferraris. Nevertheless Mullen made up two places right away at the start, then came through to begin lap two in fifth place.
In the No.91 sister Ferrari, Klaas Hummel had started in 17th place, moving up to 16th right away. The safety car came out at the lead cars entered lap three. By this point Mullen was fourth and Hummel was 15th.
When the pit window opened the CRS Ferraris stayed on track, enjoying the clear air ahead of them. Mullen took the lead at this point before coming in to hand over to Niarchos right at the end of the pit window. Hummel had come in the lap before to hand the No.90 car over to Andrew Kirkaldy.
Once all the pit stops were completed Niarchos was fourth and Kirkaldy was 18th. Both cars had clear runs to the flag, which saw Kirkaldy move up to 13th and Niarchos take fifth after having to concede to a charging Porsche in the closing laps.
Today’s race started well for both CRS Ferraris. Niarchos moved right up from 17th to 14th on lap one and Kirkaldy jumped from sixth to fourth.! Unfortunately contact on lap two put the No.91 Ferrari out of action and that was the end of the race for Niarchos and Mullen. Kirkaldy meanwhile had a great scrap with the Edil Cris Ferrari and was running in fifth when the pit window opened. He had to pit earlier than planned when he picked up a puncture but Hummel was ready to jump in. The Dutchman finished the race in 14th place.
“It has been a tough weekend as we have had to work hard to find some extra performance to remain competitive,” explained CRS Managing Director, Mark Busfield. “Race one saw the No.91 car have to take a 15-second handicap for winning the last race in Spa so that cost us time. In race two we had a puncture on the No.90 car, which happened just as Kirkaldy was pitting for his driver change so we had to take drive through the pits again as per the regulations because you cannot change the driver and work on the car in the d! river change window. The team is now busy preparing to get everything ready with our Le Mans Series Ferrari 430s in readiness for the LMS race in Portimao next weekend, as we will head straight to Portugal from here.”