The Porsche-Pirelli of Collard-Malucelli the great protagonist in the Zhuhai's chaos


Safety car on track for over half an hour disrupts strategies and the final result.
Babini-Davies (Aston Martin-Pirelli) fourth in GT1. Maserati on Pirelli out.

Zhuhai (China) 25 March 2007 - The Porsche-Pirelli duo began the 2007 FIA-GT Championship in the best possible way by winning in the tremendous heat of Zhuhai with the 997 GT3-RSR driven by Collard-Malucelli and entered by BMS-Scuderia Italia. The choice of soft PZero Racings paid off, despite the heat that severely tested drivers, cars and tyres. The German coupé battled with the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari - also on Pirelli - and the 430 GTC sister car of AF Corse throughout the entire race. However, a number of hours after the race the Porsche was disqualified due to a technical problem provoked by damage it suffered on part of the track in the closing stages of the race. BMS-Scuderia Italia should have entered an appeal, but that would have required further verification of the car in China, postponing to an indefinite date the return of the car to Italy - an eventuality that would have impeded the conduct of the test and development programme over the next few days. So the Italian team reluctantly accepted disqualification, which doesn't diminish in any way the merit demonstrated in the race by the crew, the team, the car or the tyres.

It can, therefore, be confirmed that Matteo Malucelli and Emmanuele Collard gave Pirelli and BMS-Scuderia a real victory in a race that seemed an affair reserved solely for the Ferraris. "The choice of soft PZero Racings was a winning one", explained Malucelli. "The team's strategy and the fact that the Porsche ran like a Swiss watch were certainly decisive elements. We have started the season well and, seeing how it went on a track that was hostile to us, I can say I am optimistic", concluded the Italian driver.

A surprise result was expected in the upper class of the FIA-GT Championship by virtue of the regulation revolution and that is exactly what happened. But more than the new rules, it was the safety car that disrupted strategies and the final results. The car remained on the track for more than a half hour while the track was cleared. That resulted in an unthinkable classification before the start in which the Lamborghini preceded two Corvettes and the first DBR9 on Pirelli of Aston Martin Racing-BMS driven by Babini-Davies. Fuel problems caused the retirement of Playteam's two Pirelli-fitted Maserati MC12s while they were firmly in the leading positions.

"The race strategies in GT2 immediately turned out to be right and the drivers did an excellent job", remarked Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni. "In the GT1 class, the Corvettes had the advantage and they confirmed expectations, but what matters is that our soft PZero Racings showed themselves to be resistant and constant in their yield over the entire duration of the race. That aspect was determinate in enabling all the teams on Pirelli to fight for victory until the end and to win, as in the case of the Porsche of Team BMS-Scuderia Italia. The disqualification decided later does not cancel in any way the truth, which the result they achieved made abundantly clear."

For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com

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