Chevrolet Corvette drivers Marc Hennerici and Andi Zuber triumphed in the qualifying race at the first round of the new FIA GT1 World Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The Phoenix/Carsport Corvette C6.R led through until the mandatory round of pitstops in the middle of the one-hour race in the hands of Hennerici, and emerged still in front with Zuber at the wheel after the stops were complete.
The win gives Hennerici and Zuber eight points, but a 10-place grid penalty - courtesy of an homologation problem on the Corvette - means Zuber will not start this evening's championship race from pole position.
The winning Chevy survived a first-corner clash with the Vitaphone Maserati MC12 driven by Miguel Ramos, which triggered a mutli-car accident and brought out the safety car.
"I got a big hit, but fortunately nothing was damaged," Hennerici said. "The team made a good stop and Andi had fantastic speed and we were able to win."
Zuber was challenging early on by Romain Grosjean, who had surged through the field in the Matech Ford. Only 11th on the grid, he jumped to fifth as the first lap carnage unfolded, then charged up to second, where the car would finish with Thomas Mutsch on board.
Third place went to last year's FIA GT Championship winners, Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini, in the best of the Vitaphone Maserati MC12s. The AMR Young Driver crew of Stefan Mucke and Christoffer Nygaard finished fourth in their Aston Martin DBR9.
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time
1. Zuber/Hennerici Phoenix Corvette 1h00m34.886s
2. Mustch/Grosjean Matech Ford + 2.273s
3. Bertolini/Bartels Vitaphone Maserati + 4.308s
4. Nygaard/Mucke Young Driver Aston + 37.808s
5. Margaritis/Heger Triple H Maserati + 43.535s
6. Leinders/Martin Marc VDS Ford + 45.608s
7. Makowiecki/Dumas Hexis Aston Martin + 54.118s
8. Piccione/Hirschi Hexis Aston Martin + 1m07.155s
9. Wendlinger/Moser SRT Nissan + 1m12.583s
10. Zonta/Daniel Reiter Lamborghini + 1m13.649s
11. Krumm/Dumbreck Sumo Power Nissan + 1m15.161s
12. Ara/Nilsson SRT Nissan + 1m19.330s
13. Hughes/Campbell-Walter Sumo Power Nissan + 1m27.725s
14. Maassen/Muller Mad Croc Corvette + 3 laps
15. Kox/Haase Reiter Lamborghini + 6 laps
16. Hezemans/Piccini Phoenix Corvette + 6 laps
17. Pastorelli/Schwager All-Inkl Lamborghini + 9 laps
18. Jager/Basseng All-Inkl Lamborghini + 14 laps
19. Paltalla/Kuppens Marc VDS Ford + 24 laps
20. Bernoldi/Ramos Vitaphone Maserati + 25 laps
21. Turner/Enge Young Driver Aston + 25 laps