Bertolini/Bartels Champions, Pier Guidi/Bobbi Win in Zolder
Third place today in the last round at Zolder, Belgium, gave them their second straight championship and third overall after topping the standings in 2006 and 2008. The pairing have become the first ever crew to win three crowns, and - for those who love statistics - Andrea Bertolini becomes the driver with the most points in the FIA GT (438.5). The reigning champions carried out a tactical race, marking their adversaries Kumpen/Hezemans, set back five positions this morning for having reached pole position while the yellow flags were on display.
Nevertheless, the race had two splendid protagonists: Alessandro Pier Guidi and Matteo Bobbi. After roaring off from pole position and fending off Bernoldi's attack at the first curve, Pier Guidi set a pace untenable for everyone, gaining more than one second per lap. When Bobbi took over from Pier Guidi, he continued to increase their advantage over their adversaries before handing back the MC12 to Pier Guidi. At that point, Pier Guidi maintained the advantage up until the finish line.
Today's race was unfortunate for Müller/Ramos. They had to make a stop at the end when their car went off the track while the Maserati n° 2 was in fourth position. The excellent work of the team of mechanics enabled the MC12 to resume the race, but the laps lost while the car was being repaired proved too many, and they were unable to regain their position. The Belgian round closes the 2009 FIA GT season, with the drivers at the wheel of the Modena cars once again at the top. The Team title was won by Vitaphone Racing at Paul Ricard, and the Drivers title was awarded today to Bertolini/Bartels. The FIA GT titles won by Maserati from 2005 to today increase to twelve: two FIA GT Manufacturers Cups in 2005 and 2007; four FIA GT Drivers Championships in 2006 (Michael Bartels/Andrea Bertolini), in 2007 (Thomas Biagi), in 2008 and 2009 (Michael Bartels/Andrea Bertolini); five FIA GT Teams Championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (Vitaphone Racing Team); one Citation Cup for gentlemen drivers in 2007 (Ben Aucott) and three victories at the prestigious Spa 24 Hours (2005, 2006, and 2008).