Fia-Gt: Pirelli on the Podium at Dubai and Continues to Fight for the Drivers' Title

Dubai, 18 November 2005 - Pirelli will return from Dubai strengthened by its umpteenth excellent overall result, in which five of its crews competing on P Zero Racing tyres in three different types of car took five of the first six places. Right up until the last lap, the Scheider-Bartels Maserati fought strenuously with the winning Ferrari of Gardel-Lamy, even though the MC12 carried 150 kg of ballast against just 30 kg aboard the 550 Maranello. The difference in weight played a decisive role in the result of the race, since all the Maseratis competed with over a 100 kilos of ballast and were able to do nothing against the lighter and, therefore, more agile Ferrari. The performance of the Pirelli-shod Corvette C5R driven by Kumpen-Hezemans-Longin is also worthy of note, as it held the lead for a long time before yielding to Lamy and Scheider in the finale, finishing third. Bertolini-Wendlinger were fourth in the Team JMB Maserati MC12 and remain at the top of the drivers'championship table, just one point ahead of Bartels-Scheider and Gardel and eight points ahead of Babini-Biagi (Maserati MC12). Michael Bartels said, "The result obtained is satisfactory, even if losing command of the race on the last lap is never pleasant. But we did everything we could to resist Lamy's pressure, his 30 kg of ballast obviously an advantage on a tortuous track like Dubai, which was not an easy circuit for people like us who were made to race with so much extra weight. The fact is that, despite the sand and problems caused by the ballast, the Pirelli P Zero Racing on my Maserati maintained a high degree of competitivity throughout the entire race". Andrea Bertolini is still optimistic in spite his one point lead in the championship, as the series ap-proaches its last race next Friday at Sakhir in Bahrain. "We limited the damage and that is the es-sential point. With all that ballast on a track demanding harsh braking and acceleration, the MC12s were manifestly handicapped and we were unable to do more. But, with the last race in view, I am confident: the Maserati and Pirelli drivers are still well placed for the title". Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, observed, "The result was clearly distorted by the inconsistent variable of ballast. Lamy drove a good race, but it is clear that if he had to load his car with the 150 kilos aboard Scheider's Maserati - and he put up an extraordinary performance given the difficulties he faced - and if Gardel had not been able to profit from the safety car, which enabled him to make up almost a minute, perhaps the finale might have been different. The fact is that we at Pirelli are satisfied with the overall result achieved by our cars. As well as the Maseratis, I think this weekends performance by the Corvette C5R and the Ferrari 575 GTC completed an optimum result returned by the crews who competed on P Zero Racing". Race classification - Dubai FIA-GT, 2005: 1. Gardel-Lamy (Ferrari 550 Maranello), 89 laps in 3h 01'07"031 2. Scheider-Bartels (Maserati MC12), +0"775 3. Hezemans-Kumpen-Longin (Corvette C5R), +8"028 4. Wendlinger-Bertolini (Maserati MC12), +10"219 5. Babini-Biagi (Maserati MC12), +20"854 6. Piccini-Deletraz (Ferrari 575 GTC), +208"708