Maserati and Aston Martin on Pirelli take top places in Brno qualifying

Brno (CZ), 27 May 2006 - Four GTs on P Zero in the first seven places on the starting grid is the result of the deciding qualifying session that took place today on the Czech track of Brno, host to the second round of the season in the FIA-GT Championship. The best car on tyres supplied by Pirelli Competizioni turned out to be the Maserati MC12 of Team Vitaphone driven by Davis-Biagi, who put up the second fastest time of the day, while the Aston Martins of BMS-Scuderia Italia recorded the fourth and sixth best times, driven respectively by Babini-Gollin and Pescatori-Ramos. The seventh time went to the Maserati MC12 in Vitaphone-Pirelli colours of Bertolini-Bartels, winners of the 2006 opening race 20 days ago at Silverstone.

And, as in Britain, the changeable weather conditions influenced the choice of tyres up until a few minutes before the qualifying session, which was run on a more or less dry circuit after the downpours of the late morning. Rain will still be the inconstant variable that could revolutionise plans for tomorrow's race. Jamie Davis, who took his Maserati to the front row of the grid on Pirelli, is confident. "I am fairly pleased with our result in qualifying", he said, "even though we lost pole position in the closing stages of the session. As at Silverstone, the race will be something else, for which the team and Pirelli Competizioni technicians have defined solutions suitable to the weather conditions that we shall be faced with. Considering that the asphalt we will be racing on is among the most abrasive of them all, achieving a constant performance at a high level is more important than the best time in qualifying".

Another British driver, Tim Sugden, registered the third fastest time - the quickest for a car on Pirelli P Zeros - in the GT2 class at the wheel of Team JMB-GruppeM's Ferrari 430 GTC. He said, "We had a problem or two with the set-up that slowed us in the early stages of qualifying, but the new P Zero with the hard compound supplied to us by Pirelli enabled us to make up ground. Anyway, the race will be a lot different, but I am confident. Together with my colleague Iradj Alexander-David, we were already going well at Silverstone before being stopped by a breakdown. Without technical problems, anyone who is hoping to win will have to fight it out with our car".

Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni said about this of Brno qualifying: "The Maserati MC12 has once again confirmed its immense potential, remaining among the fastest cars on the circuit in all conditions. We have not changed our view and believe we can aim for another top result, having noted a more than favourable consistency of yield from the P Zeros on the Maseratis and Ferraris using the hard tread compound as well as the Aston Martins with their medium mix and the Porsches, who had adopted soft tyres. The really decisive parameter for tomorrow's race will be selecting tyres in relation to the weather conditions, which are changeable in this period to say the least".

Brno qualifying, 2006FIA-GT Championship's second race:
1. Bert-Janis (Saleen S7-R) in 1'55''660;
2. Davies-Biagi (Maserati MC12) +0"445;
3. Deletraz-Piccini (Aston Martin DBR9) +1"042;
4. Babini-Gollin (Aston Martin DBR9) +1''559.
13. Sugden-Alexander David (Ferrari 430 GTC), +7''583 (3. GT2)

For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com
Download the PDF (PDF, 109KB)