The two Maserati-Pirellis on the podium
ON PORSCHE'S GREAT DAY AT MUGELLO'S TRACK
Pirelli poker in the GT2 class with the Team Ebimotors coupé ahead of three Ferraris.
Bertolini-Bartels strengthen the drivers' championship lead with three races to go.
Scarperia (I), 17 September 2006 ? Pirelli Competizioni will return home from Mugello after the seventh round of the 2006 FIA-GT Championship having put the two Maseratis of Bertolini-Bartels and Davis-Biagi on the podium and Babini-Pescatori's Aston Martin in fifth place in the GT1 class
and with four cars on P Zero Racing tyres in the first four places in the GT2 category. The latter class saw the first success of the season by Porsche and the 996 GT3-RSR of Ebimotors driven by Collard-Riccitelli, which preceded the other three crews on Pirelli ? Melo-Bobbi, Sugden-Alexander
and Salo-Aguas ? all in Ferrari 430 GTCs.
The first part of the race was run in heavy rain. The third Maserati-Pirelli competing on the Tuscan circuit, driven by Vilander-Pierguidi-Giannoccaro, took the lead ahead of Bertolini and stayed there for an hour. But after the first driver change, Pierguidi was unable to avoid skidding and crashing into a safety wall, which irreparably damaged his car. In the swirl of pit stops and changes in race tactics that followed, the advantage went to the Wendlinger-Peter Aston Martin,
which accumulated an unbridgeable margin during the last segment of the race. Thomas Biagi,who put in an optimum drive in Maserati number 2, said, "I am pleased with the result we achieved, which has enabled us to earn precious points and lose kilos of ballast that slowed us in relation to the other cars. I would like to thank Pirelli for the excellent P Zero Racings the company supplied us with, as well as the team, which prepared an impeccable MC12".
Just as outstanding was, without doubt, the race of Riccitelli-Collard in the Team Ebimotors Porsche 996 GT3-RSR, who literally dominated the battle in the next class down, climbing to the fourth place overall in the early stages of the event. Emmanuel Collard, the works Porsche driver, praised the work of the Pirelli Competizioni technicians. He said, "They developed tyres that were able to offer us notable performance, especially in the wet. The tangible progress made by them in such a short time obviously augers well for the season's finale".
Paul Hembery, Director of Pirelli Competizioni, noted, "The result is more than positive for the Maseratis competing on P Zero Racings, as the second and third places enable Bertolini-Bartels to strengthen their lead in the Drivers championship and Vitaphone Racing to move further ahead in the Team classification. I am also pleased with the fifth place of the Aston Martin-BMS DBR9 driven by Babini-Pescatori and especially with the Ebimotors Porsche, which brilliantly won a race that was not easy. To see the Porsche and three Ferraris on Pirelli in the first four places in the GT2 class in Italy is a tremendous reason for satisfaction and an incentive to us for the final races of the championship".
Mugello's final results, seventh round of the 2006 FIA-GT Championship:
1. Peter-Wendlinger (Aston Martin DBR9), 86 giri;
2. Bertolini-Bartels (Maserati MC12) +4''723;
3. Davies-Biagi (Maserati MC12) +5''149;
8. Collard-Riccitelli (Porsche 996 GT3-RSR, 1. GT2), +3 giri.
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