Bertolini-Bartels claim second place
Silverstone – The Maserati MC12 with Bertolini and Bartels behind the wheel collected a fine second in the first round of the FIA-GT championship.
Following yesterday’s qualifying session, the two MC12s had an uphill race. The weather was still testing and the choice of starting tyres was a lottery. The Maseratis opted for wet weather tyres, as did most of the field. Andrea Bertolini had showed how quick he was in Sunday’s warm up and got off to a fine start in the race. He kept up this pace and was in eighth by the second lap and then overtook his team mate Negraõ.
The race of the two Maserati MC12s had a decisive turning point: the decision to come into the pits and mount slicks. Once back out, the two MC12s closed in even more on the leaders and lowered their lap times. Soon after came the refuelling stop and the driver changes where Michael Bartels replaced Bertolini and Ramos substituted Negraõ.
Unfortunately, Ramos clashed with another driver at Copse and lost touch with the leaders while Bartels attacked and swept past Deletraz. On lap 52, the safety car and the group bunched up once more. At the restart, Bartels, in fourth, again went on the offensive and overtook Maassen and then Peter to cross the finish line in second. It was a fantastic result, one obtained after a race that was uphill all the way. Bartels also set the fastest lap time of 1’47”231. The Ramos/Negraõ crew rallied to finish seventh after the incident at Copse. Competing in the Citation Cup, Peter Kutemann and Ben Aucott came home twenty-sixth.