Pirelli Ready For Dubai and Bahrain, Decisive Races in The 2005 FIA-GT Series

Milan, 14 November 2005 - The two events in the Middle East will bring the 2005 FIA-GT Championship to a close. Each will take place on Friday, a day of rest in Dubai and Bahrain , on completely new tracks - the latter also the home of the country's F1 Grand Prix - with two basic constants as far as tyre yield is concerned: smooth asphalt and intense heat. Pirelli has prepared itself in the best possible way for these two Middle East races, before which the Milan manufacturer won the constructors title with Maserati and the team championship with Vitaphone. " We have decided to take tyres with medium-hard compounds to the races on these two tracks" , said Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, " after our experience at Dubai last year. FIA-GT cars have never competed in Bahrain, but the problems are substantially the same. As well as the heat and very smooth, recently laid asphalt, sand will certainly be an important variable to take into account when defining the best tyre type to propose to the teams. It is certain that, with 60 deg. C asphalt, surfaces made slippery by sand, tracks that demand notable aerodynamic equilibrium and engines pushed to the maximum, the Dubai and Bahrain races will be as hard fought as they will be demanding. " Pirelli will have a number of well-tested new developments and various tyre types for these last two races in the series" , De Cancellis continued. " A new structure has been conceived for the GPC Corse Ferrari 575 GTC, for example, and that will be used for the first time at the Emirates circuit. The Corvette C5R and Saleen S7R tyres are based on products that have already shown they have excellent qualities overall. The Maserati MC12s will also compete on variants of the P Zero Racings that have been competitive at other tracks. The Modena two-seaters' task will be decidedly arduous, because the cars will once again carry a considerable amount of ballast, but we are confident: in fact we can better exploit tyres that have been well tried and tested, as they should enable the MC12s to defend themselves well in spite of being so handicapped". Fabio Babini, who will be fighting to win the drivers' title, noted, " In the two Middle East races, engines will come under intense stress since the configuration of the circuits - with many power hungry straights and numerous fast mixed sections - and the adoption of sand filters will be hard on performance and reliability. The smooth, slippery asphalt will be similar at both tracks but, bolstered by experience in recent months, the Pirelli P Zero Racings to be used by the Maseratis in Dubai and Bahrain will ensure we have a high degree of competitiveness, which is fundamental to Biagi and I as we battle for the FIA-GT drivers' championship. We shall see".