30 August, 2009
The two CRS Ferraris finished the FIA GT race at Budapest in sixth and eighth places today after two tough hours of racing. Andrew Kirkaldy and Rob Bell brought the no.56 car home in sixth place with Chris Niarchos and Tim Mullen taking eighth in the No.55 car.
The weekend began on Friday night when a selection of the FIA GT cars blasted into the city centre to show the good people of Budapest what the FIA GT Championship is all about. The Hungarian Police did a fantastic job of closing the normally busy M3 motorway to give the GT cars a free run into the city. They then proceeded, noisily, down to the banks of the River Danube before congregating in front of Heroes' Square.
During Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, Tim Mullen took third place in the no.55 CRS Ferrari, whilst Andrew Kirkaldy was ninth in no.56. Both cars moved up a position on Saturday night though after the Prospeed Porsche on pole position was demoted to the back of the grid for failing the stall test.
The start of Sunday’s race was looking good when Tim Mullen took the lead going into turn one but unfortunately he ran wide on the exit kerb and three cars got the jump on him. Rob Bell got away cleanly, maintaining his grid position.
The race had some exciting moments, especially when Mullen passed Bruni’s AF Corse Ferrari. All four CRS drivers ran good times during their stints but ultimately the result was disappointing.
“We’re running a lot of weight this weekend,” said Kirkaldy. “In qualifying I lost a couple of tenths in a couple of corners and, because the competition is so tight now, you lose a tenth and you are at the back of the grid. I think we struggled a bit during the first stint of the race. We were unable to make inroads into the competition. The later stages were better but we’re not happy to leave Budapest without a podium at the very least!”