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Vitaphone taking cautious approach

Series leaders Vitaphone Maserati say they will take a conservative approach to this weekend's FIA GT Championship title decider in Argentina

Vitaphone duo Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels moved eight points clear of rival Phoenix Carsport Corvette duo Fabrizio Gollin and Mike Hezemans by winning at Zolder last month.

Although the Maserati MC12 pair will have to carry 85kg of success ballast at the new San Luis track, their rivals will be even more heavily laden, with the Carsport car carrying 90kg.

Bertolini said that their focus will be on securing the sixth place necessary to wrap up the title rather than battling for the race victory.

"The main objective is to get the drivers' title, which would be the third consecutive award for Maserati and the second one for Bartels and me," he said.

"This is why the tactic will have to be extremely cautious: we have to handle our eight-point advantage well.

"Even though it doesn't help to have to race on a road circuit carrying 85kg of ballast, we'll surely make it tough for our adversaries to catch up."

Vitaphone have already claimed their fourth consecutive teams' championship, and should Bertolini and Bartels repeat their 2006 title win, they would complete a hat-trick of drivers' championships for the team.

Last year Bartels' previous partner Thomas Biagi won the drivers' title alone as Bartels had missed some races due to surgery.

With Gollin and Hezemans needing a first or second place to snatch the title, Bertolini hopes that his teammates Miguel Ramos and Alexandre Negrao can help Vitaphone's cause by winning the race.

"I know our team-mates Ramos and Negrao have a good chance of winning now that they'll be driving a lighter car," he said.

Gollin remains optimistic about his and Hezemans' title prospects despite the points situation favouring Bertolini and Bartels.

"This has been a strange year for me, as a lot of good and bad things happened," he said.

"I know it will be very difficult to win the championship, but in my life a lot of times God has given me the force to fight, and to make impossible things possible."

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