Maserati Storms to Spa Win

Maserati secured victory in their first attempt at a 24 Hours race by winning the Proximus 24 hours of Spa

Maserati Storms to Spa Win

The MC12 was not allowed to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours after organisers ACO said it did not meet their technical regulations. However, the FIA GT championship has welcomed the squad and the team dominated the race.

The last time a Maserati won an International Endurance race was in 1957, when the 450S won the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Italian Marque's performance was made all the more convincing after they secured a one-two in the category in an event blighted by changeable whether conditions.

It was the Vitaphone Racing Team's number nine car, with Michael Bartels, Timo Scheider and Eric Van de Poele that dominated the race from pole position, the sixth round of the FIA GT championship.

Scheider said: "It was an exciting race from beginning to end and, in fact, I had to avoid another car that spun on the very last lap in the driving rain."

Two laps behind was the sister car of Andrea Bertolini, Karl Wendlinger and Philippe Peter.

Following the two Maserati's were two Ferrari 550 s. The number 11 car of Vincent Vosse, Kurt Mollekens, Christophe Bouchut, Gabriele Gardel car finishing ahead of last year's winners Lilian Bryner and Enzo Calderari, with Steve Zacchia and Fred Bouvy.

The number six Carsport Corvette finished fourth but was excluded following post race scrutineering, because the data-recording device was not connected.

Aston Martin, competing in their second round of the FIA GT championship, finished fifth and sixth. Lengthy stops required to remedy a pedal box issue ended their hopes of a podium.

Aston Martin Racing boss George Howard-Chappell said: "We're experiencing the sort of problems now that we would have expected much earlier in the programme."

The Maserati of Fabio Babini, Thomas Biagi and Jamie Davies however retire with a transmission problem halfway through the race when holding a podium place.

Pos Class Drivers Make Laps  1.  GT1  Poele/Bartels/Scheider          Maserati MC12 GT1         576
 2.  GT1  Bertolini/Wendlinger/Peter      Maserati MC12 GT1         574
 3.  GT1  Vosse/M'Kens/B'Chut/Gardel      Ferrari 550 Maranello     567
 4.  GT1  Longin/K'Pen/H'Mans/Bleekem'N   Corvette C5R              563(*)
 5.  GT1  Bryner/Calderari/Zacchia/Bouvy  Ferrari 550 Maranello     562
 6.  GT1  Goossens/Kox/Lamy               Aston Martin DBR9         557
 7.  GT1  Brabham/Turner/Sarrazin         Aston Martin DBR9         555
 8.  GT2  Lieb/Rockenfeller/Luhr          Porsche 996 GT3 RSR       541
 9.  GT1  Duez/Menten/Hernandez/Cayrolle  Corvette C5R              536
10.  GT2  Moccia/Groppi/Camathias         Porsche 996 GT3 RS        535
11.  GT1  Newton/Erdos/Mallock/Bennett    Saleen S7 R               529
12.  G2   Penders/Lamot/Couwbeaghs        Porsche 996 GT3 RS        529
13.  G2   V'Nque/Lab'T/Prette/Radrigues   Chrysler Viper GTS        509
14.  G2   Gastines/Cloet/Rossem/Laet      Porsche 996 GT3 RS        497
15.  G3   Mattheus/Van'Gen/Furnal/G'Froy  Porsche 996 GT3 RS        495
16.  GT1  Lemeret/Deman/Belloc/Livio      Ferrari 575 Maranello GTC 492
17.  GT2  Ried/Ried/F'Mayr/F'Mayr Jnr     Porsche 996 GT3 RS        489
18.  G2   Lambert/Leforte/Palltala/Andre  Porsche 996 GT3 RS        486
19.  G2   Model/Tenchini/Riolo/Ceratti    Porsche 996 GT3 RS        477
20.  GT2  Collard/Sugden/Ortelli          Porsche 996 GT3 RSR       477
21.  GT2  Collins/Cunningham/Maassen      Porsche 996 GT3 RSR       476
22.  G3   Noziere/Brouard/Levy/Levy       Porsche 996 GT3 RS        469
23.  G2   Corbel/Baron/Cohighnac/Stepec   Porsche 996 GT3 RS        465
24.  G2   Chailet/Nef/Morlet              Porsche 996 GT3 RS        461
25.  G2   Giudici/Romanini/Raimondi       Maserati Light GT 4200    435
26.  GT2  Vonka/Konopka/De Castro         Porsche 996 GT3 RS        423
Not Classified/Retirements: Class Drivers Make On Lap GT1   Babini/Biagi/Davies   Maserati MC12 GT1  401  G2   Coens/Beltoise/Blanchemais   Porsche 996 GT3 RS  342  G2   Muytjens/Koenen/Grouwels   Porsche 996 GT3 RS  218  G3   Ickx/Bermes/Hemroulle/Reis   Porsche 996 GT3 RS  198  GT1   Zwaan/Zwaan/Kutemann   Maserati MC12 GT1  141  GT1   Keen/Halliday/Moller/Verdon Roe   Lister Storm GT  134  GT1   Fomenko/V'Iev/M'Ssian/C-Walter   Ferrari 550 Maranello  96  G2   Leinders/K'Pens/Ambr'O/D'Cour   Gillet Vertigo  84  GT1   Deletraz/Piccini/Melo/Morbidelli   Ferrari 575 Maranello GTC 29  G2   Belmondo/Khan/Pauw/Hove   Porsche 996 GT3 RS  2  GT2   Busnelli/Son'O/Jacoma/Rap'Ti   Porsche 996 GT3 RS  1  (*) Disqualified All Timing Unofficial
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