Pirelli stars at Silverstone with three cars in the first five

Silverstone, 7 May 2006 - The optimism shown by the Pirelli Competizioni technicians yesterday after a qualifying session, in which the highest placed car on P Zero Racing tyres was fourth fastest, was evidently well placed. In the race, things were more or less turned upside down, with just one adversary able to compete with the Pirelli-shod Maseratis of Team Vitaphone and the Scuderia Italia Aston Martins, which just about monopolised the top positions. Victory did not escape a car on Pirelli. The Maserati MC12 of Bertolini-Bartels dominated the race throughout, due to the high degree of competitiveness of the car-crew duo and, as the Italian driver revealed after the race, "Because of the superiority of the Pirelli P Zero Racing intermediates compared to the tyres of the opposition, we were able to recoup positions from the start, take the lead and build a considerable time advantage, which we were able to administer well until the end". The only adversary able to give the Pirelli-fitted cars any opposition, the Saleen S7-R driven by Janis-Bert, tried hard to resist the pressure from the Fabio Babini-Fabrizio Gollin Aston Martin. As Babini explained, "In the end, we preferred to be sure of a valuable third place for BMS-Scuderia Italiana, who were making their comeback in the FIA-GT series and were giving the Aston Martin coups their debut in the championship. Ours is certainly the best of the many DBR9s in the race". Pirelli's supremacy was even more convincing in the GT2 category, having put three cars in the first three places. The P Zero Racings made all the difference on both the Ferrari 430 GT2s and the Porsche 996 GT3-RSR, further confirming the quality of the Milan manufacturer's tyres. Paul Hembery, Director of Pirelli Competizioni, said, "The result we achieved at Silverstone today and having won the race linked to the Tourist Trophy is confirmation of the excellence of the technical decisions made by Pirelli. Praise must go to the commitment of the company's technicians, who produced and supplied these competitive tyres to such prestigious marques - Maserati, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche - who raced with such different cars from each other, but always with top level results". Silverstone results, first race - FIA-GT Championship 2006: 1. Bertolini-Bartels (Maserati MC12), 3h00'40''717; 2. Bert-Janis (Saleen S7-R) +4"735; 3. Babini-Gollin (Aston Martin DBR9), +1'04''019; 9. Melo-Bobbi (Ferrari 430 GT2), +4 laps (1. GT2); 10.Collard-Riccitelli (Porsche 996 GT3-RSR), +4 laps (2. GT2); 11.Aguas-Salo (Ferrari 430 GT2), +4 laps (3. GT2). For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com