Pirelli Wins Manufacturers Title in Istanbul and Takes the First Five Places in the Race

Istanbul, 18 September 2005 - The trip to Turkey certainly worked well for Pirelli, who achieved a sensational overall result in the FIA-GT Championship. Pirelli tyres monopolised the first five places at race's end at the circuit on the outskirts of Istanbul and, with the points won in this eighth round, the P Zero Racing-fitted Maserati MC12s won the manufacturers' title. The Turkish race confirmed the optimum level of development attained by the Pirelli tyres, which have been literally dominating the scene at all the year's circuits. At Istanbul, Team Vitaphone even scored its first 1-2, with Michael Bartels, who also won in Belgium, ahead of Fabio Babini, who came first in Germany in August. "Obviously I am very pleased with the result", said Bartels, "which enables us to reinforce our position as leader among the teams, move closer to the top of the drivers' table and Maserati to win the manufacturers' championship. Pirelli played a central role in this excellent result by providing us with tyres that lasted the distance extremely well with an optimum level of grip and wear rate. A vital aspect, given that the circuit made tremendous demands on the tyres ". Fabio Babini has more than one reason to bemoan the race. The chaotic use of the safety car, which came onto the circuit after an accident early in the race, kept him from the lead, which he had held from the start. The Pirelli test driver explained, "Without the safety car coming in at the wrong moment, the result would not have been so incoherent and my Maserati would have been able to retain command for the rest of the race. The P Zero Racings were really competitive, ensuring a notable performance over the entire track. As it happens, my second place does not help us much in relation to the championship, but with three races to go the game is still open ". Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, was obviously pleased with a race performance that confirmed the qualifying positions achieved on the Turkish circuit. "After having monopolised the top positions in qualifying", he said, "we further improved in the race with five cars in the first five places and a 1-2-3 with the MC12s, which gave Maserati and Pirelli the certainty of the manufacturers' championship. The excellent performance of the GPC Corse Ferrari 575 GTC, which started from pole position and took an optimum fourth place in the race, was a good sign, but the performance of the new P Zero Racings' compound on the Maseratis in Turkey produced the results hoped for at the top level of both grip and consistency of yield. A reason for which the outcome of this race is certainly positive from all points of view ". For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com Final result - Istanbul FIA-GT Race 2005: 1.Bartels-Scheider (Maserati MC12) in 2h00'02''986 2.Babini-Biagi (Maserati MC12) +10''960 3.Bertolini-Wendlinger (Maserati MC12) +26''987 4.Deletraz-Piccini (Ferrari 575 GTC) +"56''471