Victory in America and a podium in Europe
The DBR9 on P Zero Racing score a 1-2 in the "Petit Le Mans" at Road Atlanta. Babini-Malucelli third at Budapest; Team AF Corsa (Ferrari-Pirelli) win the GT2 title.
Budapest (H), 1 October 2006 - After having won its class with the Panoz Esperante GT2 at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Pirelli Competizioni achieved another prestigious success this season by scoring an extraordinary 1-2 in the "Petit Le Mans" at Road Atlanta in the U.S.A., an endurance round in the American Le Mans Series. The works Aston Martin DBR9 team triumph decisively and with evident superiority in the GT1 class in which the favourite Corvette C6Rs, even though racing at home, were unable to avoid finishing a minimum of two laps down on Enge-Turner, the winners after 1,000 miles of racing, ahead of the DBR9 sister car of Sarrazin-Lamy. Credit should also go to the Panoz Esperante on P Zero Racing tyres in the GT2 class, which came third.
And in the eighth round of the FIA-GT Championship, which took place today at the Hungaroring just outside Budapest, the Aston Martins on Pirelli defended themselves honourably. Babini-Malucelli held second place for more than three quarters of the race before having to give way to the Corvette of Kumpen-Longin-Hezemans. In Hungary, it was equally true that the elastic V8 American engined cars were also the favourites on the tortuous circuit, a prognosis that was amply confirmed at the finish line of the race, which saw the young Matteo Malucelli and the expert Fabio Babini among the protagonists. Babini said, "Being on the podium was certainly satisfying, but it was a shame that there was a collision with Biagi's lapped Maserati, which damaged the set up and steering of our car when I was battling with Kumpen's Corvette. But we managed to take the Aston Martin Racing/BMS team back to the top and that is important".
Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, analysed the race and noted, "The track layout was clearly favourable to the American V8 cars. That was especially the case with the Saleen, and their advantage became even greater by them having to load much less ballast on board than the Pirelli-fitted Maseratis. However, I am satisfied with the performance of the new P Zero Racings we have developed for Aston Martin and Maserati (Team Champion 2006 with the Vitaphone Racing), as I am with the new covers we supplied to the Ferrari 430 GTCs, which enabled Melo-Bobbi to defend themselves well and obtain second place - despite carrying heavy ballast - to give AFCorse (and Ferrari-Pirelli ) the Team and Marque titles in the GT2 class".
Budapest (H), 8th race of the FIA-GT Championship 2006:
1. Bert-Janis-Montermini (Saleen S7-R), 102 laps/3hrs;
2. Kumpen-Longin-Hezemans (Corvette C6R), +10''506;
3. Babini-Malucelli (Aston Martin DBR9), +26''686;
11. Melo-Bobbi (Ferrari 430 GTC, 2. GT2), +5 laps.
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