Silverstone - uk

Davies - Biagi

The Bartels-Bertolini Maserati MC12 on row two

The 2006 FIA GT championship kicked off today with the qualifying session at Silverstone.

The first race in the international series reserved to gran turismo cars will be held tomorrow. Bertolini-Bartels performed brilliantly to earn a spot on the second row with a time of (2'00"860); Davies-Biagi's MC12 (2'02"378) will start from row four. Pole position went to the Longin-Kumpen duo (Corvette, in 1'58"288).

Difficult conditions, with a wet track and driving rain, characterised the opening twenty minutes of official qualifying. This meant that the cars' set up had to be prepared at the very last moment. Despite the extra 25kg of ballast (10 for the 2005 final position and 15 assigned owing to the car's performance compared with other vehicles), the Maserati MC12s continue to be competitive. In 2005, this form saw it take the FIA GT Constructors' and Team titles.