CR Scuderia enjoyed a winning end to its first season in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Donington Park after Luke Hines and Jeremy Metcalfe lead a 1-2 in the final two-hour race of the year.

The pair clinched their second win of the season to take the team's total to six, while Irish pairing Michael Cullen and Paddy Shovlin joined them on the podium in second place.

Hines, Shovlin and Michael Meadows took the start of the two-hour race in the three Ferraris for the race, and all gained positions when the lights went green. There was a good amount of overtaking in the opening stages, in particular on lap 13 when Hines breezed past the #2 Viper and into the race lead. Once the order settled Hines was first, Shovlin was third and Meadows was right behind him in fourth.

The safety car was deployed 47 minutes into the race and all three CRS Ferraris pitted whilst the race was under caution. At the 59 minute mark the green flag waved and the race was back on. Metcalfe was now in the lead in the #14 Ferrari, followed by the Jones brothers' Ascari. Michael Cullen was in third and James Sutton in fourth. A few minutes later though, Sutton's race was over when he had to pull off the track with an engine problem.

"It's a terrible shame," Sutton said. "Michael and I were looking good to beat Simonsen and Lester in the championship but unfortunately a technical problem ended our run."

The order held until the very end of the race when the Jones brothers suddenly retired on the final lap, putting Cullen up into second place, completing a 1-2 for CRS.

"That was a tough race," Metcalfe said. "The car felt so good though that I was able to hold back at the end and preserve fuel. Luke did a great job at the start. The team has been great all year and I want to thank them for a fantastic season."

Cullen only just held onto second from a charging Allan Simonsen, but the Dane was unable to find a way through in a drag race to the line.

"Simonsen got by me on the last lap at Brands Hatch so there was no way in the world he was getting past me today," the Irishman said. "This team is fantastic, they've all worked hard all year but above all else it has been a lot of fun!"

The victory capped a fine first British GT season for the team, which successfully clinched the teams' title although the drivers' title went to Team Trimite pairing Jon Barnes and James Gornall.

"I couldn't be happier with the progress we have made throughout this year," team boss Chris Niarchos said. "With a new team and new drivers it has been an incredible year one. We've had our ups and downs; we've all made mistakes and we have all learnt from them.

"During the latter half of the season we made big improvements as a unit and the results show that for themselves. We're looking forward to 2009 and the next chapter in the CRS story. We've made our mark and, as a team we will only get stronger, so we are looking forward to the years to come."



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