Le Mans Series pairing Tim Mullen and Andrew Kirkaldy finished a tremendous second in the GT2 class for CRS Racing, only narrowly falling short of a victory, losing out to a star-studded Porsche line-up in the closing stages of the race at the Hungaroring.
Continuing a successful move to the Le Mans Series ranks Mullen had started from third in class, improving to second in the opening stages. First he then Kirkaldy held second during their stints behind the AF Corse Ferrari on Jean Alesi, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander – Mullen battling with the Frenchmen during his second stint in the car.
Both Ferraris, however, were eclipsed by the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche in the final spate of pitstops. “For some reason those Porsches can do really fast stops,” says Mullen. “Our guys are really fast so I don't understand how they managed to jump us. On the subject of the team can I just say well done to the CRS boys who worked through the night to change our engine. They did a brilliant job and they deserve this result tonight.”
Now the lead Ferrari Kirkaldy caught the Porsche, but was unable to pass around the infamously twisting circuit.
“Second is a fantastic result for CRS,” he said. “It was a difficult weekend for everyone and the guys have worked incredibly hard and deserve a great deal of praise. We had the opportunity to go for the win tonight but unfortunately when I came across the No.88 Porsche [the second Felbermayr-Proton entry], which was a lap down, he thought it would be good to hold us up by braking in odd places. We're pleased though that we have now shown we can turn the good pace we have had all year into a top result”
It could easily have been a double celebration for CRS with a better result for the no.90 car of Pierre Ehret and Phil Quaife. Together they had made up ground after starting 12th in class to run as high as seventh when, mid-charge contact with one of the prototypes punctured a hole in the Ferrari's radiator, enforcing a pitstiop repairs. The team turned the car around to return to the track just 40 minutes later, but the car had dropped back to twelfth.