Vitaphone stays on top in main race
|By Gary Watkins||Sunday, July 4th 2010, 14:39 GMT|
Vitaphone Racing dominated the full-points race at the Paul Ricard FIA GT1 World Championship event.
The #1 Vitaphone Maserati MC12 driven by Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels followed up on its win in Saturday's qualification race in the championship round. Bertolini lost out to fellow front-row starter Peter Kox at the start, but moved to the front when the Reiter Lamborghini driver was adjudged to have jumped the start and awarded a stop-go penalty.
The Bertolini/Bartels Maserati would almost certainly have come under pressure from its two closest pursuers had they not clashed on lap 10. Andrea Piccini, driving the solo Phoenix/Carsport Chevrolet Corvette, tangled with Vitaphone driver Enrique Bernoldi at the final corner, putting the Maserati out of the race and earning his car a stop-go.
Bartels crossed the line with more than seven seconds in hand over the Sumo Power Nissan driven by Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck to claim what he called "a great victory".
"It looked easy, but the conditions out there were quite difficult," said Bartels. "It was all about looking after the tyres today."
The Sumo Power Nissan came from ninth on grid to claim its second podium finish in two events. Krumm brought the car into fourth place before the pitstop sequence began and then Dumbreck overtook Thomas Mutsch in the best of the Matech Fords for third and moved up to second when Phoenix/Carsport driver Marc Hennerici took the stop-go for Piccini's earlier indiscretion.
Third place went to veteran Altfrid Heger and Alex Margaritis in the quickest of the Hegersport Maseratis. Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin came through from the 10th row to claim fourth in their Marc VDS Ford GT.
Pos Drivers Team Car Time/Gap 1. Bertolini/Bartels Vitaphone Maserati 1h00m30.245s 2. Krumm/Dumbreck Sumo Power Nissan + 7.057s 3. Heger/Margaritis Triple H Maserati + 24.633s 4. Leinders/Martin Marc VDS Ford + 26.209s 5. Piccini/Hennerici Phoenix Corvette + 29.670s 6. Hezemans/Maassen Mad-Croc Corvette + 35.824s 7. Grosjean/Mutsch Matech Ford + 46.178s 8. Hughes/Campbell-Walter Sumo Power Nissan + 54.364s 9. Makowiecki/Accary Hexis Aston Martin + 56.699s 10. Zonta/Daniel Reiter Lamborghini + 57.226s 11. Bobbi/Longin Triple H Maserati + 1m04.943s 12. Schwager/Pastorelli Munnich Lamborghini + 1m05.405s 13. Hirschi/Piccione Hexis Aston Martin + 1m11.342s 14. Kuppens/Palttala Marc VDS Ford + 1m14.776s 15. Wendlinger/Moser Swiss Nissan + 1m17.780s 16. Turner/Enge Young Driver Aston Martin + 1m23.897s 17. Bouchut/Basseng Munnich Lamborghini + 1m26.100s 18. Kox/Haase Reiter Lamborghini + 1m47.230s 19. Gavin/Kuismanen Mad-Croc Corvette + 1m47.240s 20. Nygaard/Mucke Young Driver Aston Martin + 1m53.704s Retirements: Panis/Gachnang Matech Ford 17 laps Bernoldi/Ramos Vitaphone Maserati 10 laps Ara/Nilsson Swiss Nissan 9 laps