Brno - cz

Three MC12s on the top at Brn

For the first time this year three Maserati MC12s will occupy the top three places on the starting grid in Brno, for the fifth race of the FIA GT Championship.

Pole position went to Philippe Peter at the wheel of the number 16 JMB Racing MC12. It is the second pole of the season for the driver from Vienna after that claimed at Monza. Peter will team up with Chris Buncombe and Roman Rusinov, younger and with less experience but improving race by race.

Sharing the front row will be the other JMB Racing car driven by Andrea Bertolini and Karl Wendlinger. The Italian-Austrian pairing did well after yesterday and today’s unfortunate incidents. Yesterday afternoon the car was badly damaged after Wendlinger left the track and this morning a clash with a slower driver hindered Bertolini’s chances of grabbing pole. Starting from the front row is good Peter and Wendlinger and also great for them and their Red Bull sponsor. Vienna is only 170km from the circuit.

Last year Wendlinger obtained second place here at Brno while Peter, teamed with Babini, crossed the line in fourth. The third best time was set by the Vitaphone Racing Team’s MC12 with Michael Bartels and Timo Scheider on board. Bartels, the driver responsible for the fast lap, won at Brno last year and hopes to double up. Bartels and Scheider were the fastest in the afternoon session. The Italian crew of Fabio Babini and Thomas Biagi will line up on row three with the fifth best time.

The current championship leaders have 100kg of ballast to contend with but still managed to contain the gap between themselves and the other Maseratis. They worked well in balancing the car ahead of the race. Biagi triumphed here in 2003 with 100kg of extra weight and is keen to do so again. Just ahead of them, in fourth, is the Corvette from team GLPK Racing.