Two Vitaphone MC12s on the front row
The two MC12s sporting black and green livery will both start on the front row for the seventh FIA GT Championship. It was a fine performance by the German team in front of their home crowd. Michael Bartels set the best time of 1.22.991 at the beginning of the morning session.
He was the only driver to dip under the one minute twenty-three second barrier. It was the second pole of the season for the number nine after that obtained at Spa. Naturally, Timo Scheider too was satisfied. He missed the free practice session on Friday morning as he was busy at Paul Ricard testing in the new Formula A1 GP.
Fabio Babini and Thomas Biagi set the second quickest time. They kept back a set of tyres from the morning session in order to try improving in the afternoon. They were faster in this session but not quick enough to take top spot from their team mates. In any case, they will settle for second place. The pairing will hold a slight advantage in the race as the car will have less ballast on board: 50kg. The two MC12s came in just ahead of the Corvette and the first of the two 575s on show. Fifth was the first of the two JMB Racing MC12s crewed by Philipp Peter/Arjan van der Zwaan/Marcello Zani.
Peter’s fast lap was set during the morning session before he handed the steering wheel over to his team mates. Zani drove the Trident supercar here in Germany for the first time while van der Zwaan had driven the car at Spa. With a good strategy this car could do well given that it will only be carrying 25 kg. The twin car, with Andrea Bertolini and Karl Wendlinger in the driving seat, had some difficulty in finding the right set up and will line up in eighth. In the afternoon qualifying session the two drivers managed to identify the problem and hope to perform well on Sunday.
In order to maintain the championship lead it is important to continue picking up points and, perhaps, secure a podium position. This is their aim as they have 100kg of ballast to contend with. Unusually, Wendlinger will start first tomorrow.