The Pirelli-equipped BMS Porsche 997 dominates GT2 in the SPA 24 Hours


The Collard-Lieb-Malucelli Porsche 997 leads from the early stages of the Belgian endurance classic. Ferrari 430 GTCs running on Pirelli tyres finish fifth, sitxth and seventh in class. The Bertolini-De Simone-Piccini-Pier Guidi Maserati MC12 is Pirelli's highest-placed GT1 car, in fifth.

Spa (B), 29 July 2007- The BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche 997 GT3-RSR driven by Collard, Lieb and Malucelli - running on Pirelli PZero Racing tyres - dominated the GT2 class at the Spa 24 Hours, round six of the FIA GT Championship, with a clear margin of superiority - especially under the rain. The car was impressive during qualifying, setting a time good enough for second on the grid, but improved further during the race. Its crew managed to claim the lead in the opening stages, and maintained their grip on the category all the way to the chequered flag.

Emmanuel Collard, a factory Porsche driver and the BMS team's biggest star in this year's FIA GT Championship, said: "Pirelli's excellent rain tyres gave us good grip both during the downpour that characterised some of the race, and also during the periods of lighter rain. Even in extreme conditions, we were confident of good roadholding. The reliability of the car and the strength of our team - who were practically fault-free also during the several hours of rain and despite the high stakes and non-stop action - did the rest."

Pirelli also brought three more cars home in the leading GT2 positions: the Ferrari 430 GTCs of
Pasini-Ruberti-Casè-Cressoni (EdilCris), Tenchini-McCormick-Plati-Basso (Easy Race) and Sugden-Niarchos-Kirkaldy (Scuderia Ecosse). These crews finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Unfortunately, Pirelli had its chances of GT1 success reduced by 50% within the first hour. The AMR-BMS Aston Martin DBR9 of Toccacelo-Ragazzi-Frassineti-Lancieri was eliminated by electrical problems in the first half-hour, while a slower car ran into the Playteam Sarafree Maserati MC12 of Giannocaro-Muller-Lambert-Busnelli shortly afterwards. Their Maserati was eventually forced into retirement after going off the road in the closing stages.

Two off-road incidents also accounted for the second AMR-BMS Aston Martin DBR9, driven by Babini, Davies, Monfardini and Alessi. The unfortunate Alessi was at the wheel on both occasions, but during the earlier stints Babini and Davies had taken the number 23 Pirelli-equipped DBR9 up to sixth place.

As it was, the highest-placed Pirelli runner was the Playteam's Maserati MC12 of Bertolini-Piccini-De Simone-Pier Guidi, which was fifth overall. The Maserati had been leading before a problem with the rear lights scuppered its chances of victory during the early hours of the morning. The car's potential was underlined by an excellent triple stint from Fabrizio de Simone, using the same set of PZero Racing tyres.

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