FIA-GT: a demanding race for Pirelli at the Brno Circuit

Milan, 23 May 2006 - The international FIA-GT Championship is back in the news this weekend, a series the second round of which will take place on the circuit of Brno in the Czech Republic, about 100 kilometres from Prague. The track has always been extremely hard on tyres due to its very abrasive asphalt, and the changeable weather conditions in the area further complicate the work of Pirelli Competizioni. The Milan manufacturer will have tyres on offer to the teams competing on Pirelli P Zero Racing derived from experience gathered during extensive winter testing and, in the case of rain and intermediate covers, data refined from the victorious opening race of the FIA-GT season at Silverstone on 7 May. Drivers competing on Pirelli are extremely confident about next Sunday's race. Fabio Babini, who came third overall at Silverstone driving an Aston Martin DBR9 of BMS-Scuderia Italia, explains, "The Brno race is certainly one of the most demanding of the year. The track is fairly tortuous and the asphalt inflicts a high wear rate on the tyres. It is, however, true that the bad weather we often experience during our weekend in the Czech Republic reduces the level of the surface's abrasiveness, but this is an inconsistent variable and has to be considered as such. As far as Aston Martin is concerned, I believe Pirelli has worked hard in recent months to develop various P Zero Racing tyre typologies able to guarantee the cars a great deal of traction when exiting a corner, and extensive mileage in relation to the aggressive condition of the Brno asphalt. So I am confident about the forthcoming race, in which I am sure Pirelli Competizioni will do well". But the role of favourites at Brno will be played out by Maserati, whose MC12 on Pirelli P Zero Racing tyres entered by the Vitaphone Racing Team and driven by Bertolini-Bartels won at Silverstone with an excellent performance. But the crew will certainly not have an easy life of it this coming weekend, because their car will be burdened by 65 kg of ballast imposed by FIA - 40 kg by the regulations and another 25 kg "extra", also attributed to the Saleen that came second in Britain - although the overall quality of the Maserati is such that the team will be able to take on this gruelling race convinced that it will still be able to aim for a top place. Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, observes, "Pirelli won at Brno back in 2004 with a two-seater car of similar configuration to the Maserati: it was the Saleen S7-R driven by none other than Bartels for Team Vitaphone. The high degree of competitiveness of the Italian cars and the undoubtedly notable quality of the Aston Martin DBR9s entered by BMS-Scuderia Italia permit us at Pirelli to be more than optimistic, despite the fact that the much driven circuit is not one of the simplest to understand, and that the weather conditions can change suddenly from very hot to violent thunder storms". For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com