The event is the sixth round of the FIA GT championship. A Trident GT has occupied a top spot in every session of qualifying held since Thursday: free practice and the three official qualifying sessions, including those disputed yesterday night.
It is a fine showing and re-enforced by the other MC12 that took a place on the third row with the fifth fastest time. It was a clear demonstration of the MC12’s competitiveness. The Maserati preceded the Aston Martins, the Corvettes, the Ferrari 550, the 575 and the Saleen. The Trident now holds a firm lead in the Constructors’ Cup. Pole was taken by Michael Bartels in the first of the Vitaphone Racing Team MC12s. He set the time in the first of yesterday evening’s sessions, run when the track was dry.
He was the only driver to duck under the two minute and fifteen second barrier, bettering the circuit record. Bartels will be racing alongside his country mate Timo Scheider and the Belgian Eric Van de Poele, a fast and skilful driver who knows the circuit extremely well. The Vitaphone Racing Team currently holds the lead in the team championship. The second best time was set by the JMB Racing MC12 with Andrea Bertolini, Karl Wendlinger and Philippe Peter on board. Bertolini and Wendlinger currently hold second spot in the general classification. Double points will be awarded for the Belgian race, significant for the championship. Fabio Babini/Thomas Biagi and the Englishman Jamie Davies will partner the Italian this time out. They were just as fast and set the fifth quickest time in the second Vitaphone MC12. They too are in a good position for tomorrow. The fourth MC12 in the race, the JMB Racing car, is entrusted to an untried Dutch crew made up of the brothers Robert and Arjan van der Zwaan and Peter Kutemann.
They set the thirteenth fastest qualifying time. The Maserati Light will also be competing in the 24 Hour to be driven by Gianni Giudici, Diego Romanini and Raffaele Raimondi. The car usually appears in the Italian GT championship. The crew set the tenth fastest time in the G2 category and the thirty-second overall. It was a good result as the car is closely derived from a standard roadgoing model.
The 24 Hour starts at 16.00 tomorrow and ends at the same time tomorrow. The race will be transmitted live on Eurosport 2 and Eurosport while SportItalia will broadcast the first hour of the race and the final hour on Sunday.