Positive outcome for Pirelli in an exciting FIA-GT Season

Sakhir, Bahrain, 25 November 2005 - Total dominance - winning all three titles - just escaped Pirelli, but even so its 2005 season in the international FIA-GT Championship was certainly positive. With seven victories in 11 races and many more podium finishes, the Milan manufacturer has shown truly notable progress compared to the previous season. Winning the constructors' championship with Maserati and the team title with the Vitaphone Racing is an excellent outcome for Pirelli in its first full season in this category. At Sakhir, the last race of the season, the drivers' title was undecided until the last moment between the Ferrari 550 Maranello of Gardel of Switzerland and the Maserati MC12 on P Zero Racings driven by Bartels and Scheider. The umpteenth chaotic management of the safety car by the race director - he announced the vehicle would take to the track and then stopped it - caused disorder among the top placed competitors, including the winning Bouchut-Garcia Aston Martin DBR9, the end result favouring Gardel's Ferrari. He was able to avoid stopping, finishing the race ahead of a perplexed Scheider's MC12, which was unable to make up the lost ground. Timo Scheider commented rationally on the outcome, saying, "While being pleased with the overall result achieved by the team, by Maserati and Pirelli Competizioni, who have always supplied us with extremely competitive tyres, I am obviously disappointed by a finale made so negative by a non-sporting aspect. Anyway, I personally consider myself satisfied with what Team Vitaphone has been able to attain in a reduced period of time, imposing ourselves in two championships out of three and coming close to the drivers' title". Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, noted, "While being disappointed at our lack of absolute success in the drivers' championship, we at Pirelli can consider ourselves satisfied with the results we have achieved throughout the whole season and the top performance of the P Zero Racings in the so many different weather conditions and tracks. In addition, Maserati's competitiveness was radically reduced by a penalty, especially during the latter part of the season. It is a fact that our Pirelli tyres were as successful in qualifying as they were in racing on completely different cars, like the Corvette C5R, Ferrari 575 GTC, Saleen S7-R and the Maseratis. Our work will not stop with the end of this championship, because we will soon begin testing for the 2006 season". Race results, Sakhir FIA-GT, 2005: 1. Bouchut-Garcia (Aston Martin DBR9), 90 laps in 3h01'36''661; 2. Peter-Davies (Maserati MC12), +26''209 3. Longin-Kumpen-Hezemans (Corvette C5R), +1'33''423; 4. Gardel-Lamy (Ferrari 550 Maranello), +1'53''982; 5. Scheider-Bartels (Maserati MC12), +1 lap; 6. Cioci-Montermini (Ferrari 575 GTC), +1 lap. For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com