Rain Affects the Qualifying Race
At the 19th lap, after most of the teams had changed drivers, driving rain began to fall, forcing many to return to the pits to switch to rain tires. Bertolini and Heger were not among them, however, and they continued to race with slick tires. Taking advantage of this situation and the fact that in the meantime it had stopped raining, Maserati MC12 no 1 took the lead in the race. Unfortunately, the track didn't dry fast enough, enabling its adversaries to gain ground and overtake the Italian driver.
When the checkered flag was waved, the best positioned among the Maseratis was Bernoldi/Ramos's no. 2, who came in at 7th place thanks to an excellent start by the Brazilian driver. Bernoldi climbed to 8th place from an original 18th position. The other Vitaphone Racing Team MC12, driven by Bartels/Bertolini, arrived in 10th place, while Triple H Team Hegerspor's German duo Mueller/Heger came in 13th.
The start for Pier Guidi/Longin's Maserati MC 12 no. 34 proved disastrous: the car, driven by Pier Guidi, was hit so hard that it was forced to leave the track a few hundred yards from the starting line.
Andrea Bertolini - Maserati MC12 no 1 - Vitaphone Racing Team: "When I entered the track after the driver switch I thought I could go on and catch up with the leading cars. Then when it started raining we decided to carry on because the previous two days the track had always dried quickly. Our decision seemed the right one at first; we gave it a try. A real pity it didn't work out in the end.
I'm lucky to have arrived to the finish line with slick tires. It was tough going. We'll start from 11th place tomorrow and we must make it to the podium".
Miguel Ramos - Maserati MC12 no. 2 - Vitaphone Racing Team: "I am satisfied with today's result because we started out from the back. Enrique was really good at the start and was able to gain several positions. It started raining as soon as I got in the car and we chose to go in for a tire change. I found the right rhythm with the rain tires. We have to watch out at the starting line in tomorrow's Championship Race, but mostly we need luck: an accident like today's can really ruin everything".
|01||7||Turner / Enge||Aston Martin DB9||1:00:21.518|
|02||13||Hennerici / Margaritis||Corvette Z06||1:00:31.874|
|03||24||Kox / Haase||Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S||1:00:41.860|
|04||25||Zonta / Kechele||Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S||1:00:53.595|
|05||10||Piccione / Hirschi||Aston Martin DB9||1:00:57.835|
|06||5||Mutsch / Westbrook||Ford GT Matech||1:01:08.685|
|07||2||Ramos / Bernoldi||Maserati MC12||1:01:14.379|
|08||6||Prost / Jani||Ford GT Matech||1:01:19.594|
|09||8||Nygaard / Mücke||Aston Martin DB9||1:01:20.311|
|10||1||Bertolini / Bartels||Maserati MC12||1:01:37.177|
|11||38||Schwager / Pastorelli||Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S||1:01:40.991|
|12||41||Kuppens / Palttala||Ford GT||1:01:43.193|
|13||33||Heger / Müller||Maserati MC12||1:02:03.344|
|14||3||Wendlinger / Moser||Nissan GT - R||1:02:12.785|
|15||12||Salo / Kuismanen||Corvette Z06||1:02:13.319|
|16||22||Hughes / Campbell-Walter||Nissan GT - R||1:02:17.465|
|17||4||Ara / Nilsson||Nissan GT - R||1:01:16.620|
|18||11||Maassen / Menten||Corvette Z06||1:01:02.204|
|19||40||Martin / Leinders||Ford GT||10:41.826|
|20||23||Krumm / Dumbreck||Nissan GT - R||2:23.756|