1000 km of Istanbul: Pirelli Dominates with Ferrari, Porsche and Panoz

Istanbul (TK), 9 April 2006 - The 2006 season in the Le Mans Series began in the best possible way for Pirelli, who saw three cars on its P Zero Racing tyres take the first three places in the GT2 category. The value of this outstanding performance by Pirelli tyres at the Turkish circuit is underlined by the fact that the drivers of three different cars (Ferrari 430 GTC, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and Panoz Esperante GTLM) climbed onto the GT2 category podium. They had competed in extremely difficult weather conditions in relation to autumn temperatures - below 10 degrees C - which plagued the entire Istanbul weekend. Victory went to the Ferrari entered by GPC Corse for De Simone-Drudi. The 430 GTC preceded the Porsche of Team Autorlando, driven by Lieb and Camathias. The repeated mistakes of the German driver clipped the wings of the Zuffenhausen coup, impeding him from winning a race that was easily within the reach of both he and his Pirelli-fitted 996 GT3 RSR. The P Zero Racings showed themselves to also be extremely effective on the Team LNT's Panoz Esperante, which came third while making its European debut with Tomlinson-Dean. Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, said, " I am really pleased with this first race in the Le Mans Series, which took place in such difficult conditions and with so many talented drivers. The Ferrari was fast right from the start, the Porsche, which was certainly a potential winner, had much to recriminate due to the errors made by its second driver, while the good things we saw from the Panoz at the 12 Hours of Sebring were confirmed. The P Zero Racings were competitive in all conditions on all three cars and the consistency of yield of our tyres is spotlighted by one simple fact: Marc Lieb set his fastest lap time with the Porsche just before the chequered flag". It should be noted that the length of the event was cut to four hours for organisational reasons and that the next counter in the series will be the 1000 KM of Spa-Francorchamps (12-14 May 2006). Istanbul's 1000 Km LMS, GT2 Class: 1 Drudi-De Simone (Ferrari 430 GTC), 4h02'34''141; 2 Lieb-Camathias (Porsche 996 GT3 RSR), +7''578; 3 Tomlinson-Dean (Panoz Esperante), +1 lap. For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com