Thomas Biagi and the MC12 in pole position at Zhuhai
A fine drive by Thomas Biagi saw the Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12 scoop pole position for the first race of the season.
In the fifteen minutes the drivers had to set a fast time, the driver from Emilia clocked 1’31”339 to take top spot for the first time in his FIA GT career. Tomorrow’s race will begin at 13.30 local time. At the end of a hard fought session, Biagi held off Mike Hezemans (Corvette C6R) by 5 thousandths and Anthony Kumpen (Corvette C5R) by 25 thousandths. The fourth fastest time for a place on the second row was set by Andrea Bertolini, from Playteam Sarafree, with a time of 1’31”551.
The Emilian’s car suffered from understeer during the opening qualifying laps. This problem somewhat compromised his placing but he remains hopeful ahead of the race given that his car is well balanced and that his times improved as the session went on. The eighth quickest time (1’32”433) was taken by the second Playteam Sarafree MC12, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi. He was hindered by going out onto a dry track during his stint. The driver from Tortona opted to preserve his tyres for the race rather than push hard in qualifying, unlike his team mate Bertolini. In the race the drivers will have to start with the tyres used in qualifying. Behind Pier Guidi came Christian Montanari’s Vitaphone Racing Team’s MC12. The driver from San Marino stopped the clock at 1’32”565.
However, he was not completely satisfied his performance but has high hopes for tomorrow after the second best time set in free practice alongside his team mate, Ramos. The JMB Racing MC12 driven by Joe Macari came home in twenty-second place (1’36”709) after managing to solve problems that emerged in free practice with the balance of the car and with the brakes. The race will get underway at 13.30 (78 laps = 335.4 km or a maximum of 120’). It will be transmitted live in Italy by Sky Sports Extra (channel 204) at 7.25 on 25 March with highlights shown on Nuvolari during the week.