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Four MC12s in the first six at Sakhir

Four MC12s finished in the top six at the end of the two qualifying sessions held today at Sakhir, Bahrain.

Andrea Bertolini and Karl Wendlinger made the front row thanks to a time of 1'54"296, just 112 thousandths slower than the pole crew of Bouchut/Garcia from Russian Age Racing. JMB Racing's fine display was capped by the third place claimed by the Philipp Peter/Jamie Davies duo who stopped the clock at 1'54"565.

The first of the Vitaphone Racing Team MC12s came in fourth driven by Fabio Babini and Thomas Biagi (1'54"869). The other, with Michael Bartels and Timo Scheider on board, came in sixth (1'56"113). They were just behind the Ferrari 550 Maranello of Gabriele Gardel and Pedro Lamy (1'55"352). The performance of the two German drivers has to be taken positively as they had an extra 130kg on board. Bertolini/Wendlinger carried 70 kg and Babini/Biagi 80. All the best times were recorded in the second session, one that ended in the dark.

The same conditions will characterise tomorrow's race. In the morning, Bertolini/Wendlinger were quickest (1'55"063). They headed the Aston Martin of Bouchut/Garcia (1'55"455), and the second JMB Racing MC12 with Peter/Davies (1'56"041) behind the wheel. Then came the two Vitaphone Racing Team cars: again the number 10 crewed by Babini/Biagi (1'56"048) edged out Bartels/Scheider (1'56"472).

The start of the race is timed for 14.00 local time. The event is taking place on Friday as this is a rest day for the Muslim population. The race will last three hours. Eurosport will transmit highlights on Sunday 27 from 21.45 to 22.45. The national television channel in Bahrain will broadcast the race live.