Ecurie Ecosse

BLACK BULL ECURIE ECOSSE GT3 duo Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell completed the perfect end to their British GT Championship campaign with a dominant win in the season finale at Donington.
Piloting the McLaren 650S GT3, the pair delivered their first British GT win of the season and the team’s first GT3 victory since Brands Hatch last year.
Today’s win — which follows their podium finish at Oulton Park earlier this season, and was also matched by the team’s McLaren 570S GT4 victory in the hands of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty — was never in doubt after the compulsory pitstop midway through the two-hour race.
Starting from second on the grid, Edinburgh racer and team director McCaig initially challenged for the lead before his tyres began struggling for grip midway through his stint.

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Before pitting to hand the car over to his Newcastle team-mate, McLaren works driver Bell, the Scot alerted the team to the tyre issues and the necessary tweaks were made to tyre pressure for the car’s second stint.
Bell emerged from the pitstop in the lead and immediately posted a then fastest lap of the race, with a 1min 28.956s. Controlling the gap to the car behind, the McLaren took the chequered flag with an 8.125s advantage over the second car.
“Rob did a fantastic job and everything went to plan, both in the GT3 car and the GT4 McLaren,” McCaig said. “It’s been a great weekend, and a fantastic way to finish the season.
“My tyres went off pretty badly halfway through my stint and that allowed the lead car to get away. After that it was a case of managing the gap and handing the car over to Rob.

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“I reported into the crew the problem we had with the rear tyres and we were able to tweak the tyre pressures for Rob. That helped make the car much more stable, and it was great to watch Rob bring the car home for our first GT3 win of the year.”
Bell too was delighted with the win, his first in British GT since victory in GT4 at Silverstone in 2010; it was McCaig’s first win in the championship since Oulton Park in 2012.
“What a great way to end the year,” Bell smiled. “It’s probably the only race where we’ve just clicked right through the team and everything has worked perfectly. We’ve not been hit by someone, and when we get a clear run we know we’re fast.
“We’ve been frustrated throughout the season because we’ve lost good results, often through no fault of our own.
“We came here, and we did what we had to do. We really enjoyed it: it’s definitely been the most enjoyable weekend of the year, and definitely a nice way to finish the British GT campaign with Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse.”

QUOTES:
Alasdair McCaig — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3 driver:
“I drove a nice, straightforward, fast opening stint. My tyres went off pretty badly halfway through my stint and that allowed the lead car to get away. After that it was a case of managing the gap and handing the car over to Rob.
“I reported into the crew the problem we had with the rear tyres and we were able to tweak the tyre pressures for Rob. That helped make the car much more stable, and it was great to watch Rob bring the car home for our first GT3 win of the year.
“Rob did a fantastic job and everything went to plan, both in the GT3 car and the GT4 McLaren. It’s been a great weekend, and a fantastic way to finish the season.
“We’ve had the pace all year, and if you look at our pace and reliability this weekend, it shows we should have been pushing for the title. I haven’t driven here since 2012, yet was able to go out and immediately be on the pace, in the rain, on Saturday.
“We didn’t get any dry running till qualifying. And while the other leading crews have all raced here before and many were here testing last week, we’ve just turned up and been quick straight out of the box.”
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Rob Bell — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3 driver:
“What a great way to end the year. It’s probably the only race where we’ve just clicked right through the team and everything has worked perfectly. We’ve not been hit by someone, and when we get a clear run we know we’re fast.
“We’ve been frustrated throughout the season because we’ve lost good results, often through no fault of our own.
“We came here, and we did what we had to do. We really enjoyed it: it’s definitely been the most enjoyable weekend of the year, and definitely a nice way to finish the British GT campaign with Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse.
“It’s been a real pleasure to be associated with the iconic Ecurie Ecosse badge. It’s amazing to have been part of a team with such a longstanding history. It’s been a privilege, and it’s a nice thing for me to have forever.”
Hugh McCaig — Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse team principal:
“This is a terrific way to  finish the season, with a win in both GT3 and GT4 for the guys. All four drivers have been fantastic this season, and to finish the year with a double win is a real boost for everyone.
“It’s been a very difficult season, but when you get a day like today it makes it all look very easy. But I can guarantee, that’s not the case. There’s been a huge amount of hard work gone on behind the scenes to get to where we are today, and today’s results merely prove the work has paid off.”

Euan Shand, CEO of sponsors, Huntly-based Black Bull Scotch Whisky:
“We’re extremely proud of the team today and what they have achieved. We’ve always known Alasdair and Rob had the pace to win a race, and for them to achieve it in the season finale is fantastic for everyone involved. We’ll be raising a glass of Black Bull Scotch Whisky tonight in celebration.”

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