media
 

The race

Zolder - BELGIUM
21/10/2007

Biagi - Bartels 

Biagi crowned FIA GT champion, a Maserati clean sweep

21/10/2007 - Zolder
Today's third place at Zolder, claimed with Michael Bartels, saw Thomas Biagi secure the GT1 Drivers' title.

This is the second time the driver from Bologna has won the title after taking victory in 2003. Biagi's triumph means that Maserati has collected all four titles on offer in the FIA GT championship. Thomas Biagi (Maserati MC12) ended on 61 points, with Wendlinger/Sharp on 57 and Hezemans/Deletraz on 55. In the team classification, Vitaphone Racing (Maserati MC12) finished on 115 points. Next came Playteam Sarafree (Maserati MC12) with 63. In the Citation Cup, reserved to gentleman drivers, Ben Aucott (Maserati MC12), took the title. The GT1 Manufacturers' Cup went to Maserati (181.5) with Corvette (116.5) and Aston Martin (98) coming next.

For Thomas Biagi, the second place secured at Nogaro was crucial as it gave him a five point advantage over his title rivals. The man from Bologna and his team mate Bartels drove an intelligent race as they attacked but managed to steer clear of tight duels.

After making a cautious start, Biagi occupied fourth place until handing over to Bartels on lap twenty-eight. Bartels battled with Longin's Corvette, then in third, before giving way to Biagi on lap 53 with thirty-seven minutes left to run. Once behind the wheel, Biagi easily held off Hezemans and closed in on second-placed Kumpen. He stayed in third until the chequered flag to secure the title as the Vitaphone Racing Team celebrated on the race wall.

The Playteam Sarafree drivers had an unlucky time of it. Alessandro Pier Guidi, who started in second, attacked all the way. He completed a series of superb overtaking moves and also set race's fastest lap time of 1’27”508 before being clipped by Davies' already-lapped Aston Martin on the eighteenth lap. Six laps later, the other Playteam Sarafree MC12, driven by Andrea Bertolini, ended up in the gravel after a splendid comeback that began on the very first lap. A fine run of overtaking moves saw the driver from Sassuolo in fourth but his rear wheels locked up when braking and he could do nothing about it. The race officials intervened and the car made it back to the track two laps off the pace. It was a real shame as the top Playteam Sarafree car appeared to be in with a title shout thanks to the consistent Pirelli tyres. These allowed Andrea Piccini to be the quickest driver on the track during his stint and he even made up a lap. The Italian duo eventually crossed the line in eighth.

Christian Montanari and Miguel Ramos also had a tough time of it. The San Marino driver, after his difficult qualifying session, attacked from the start but overshooting a turn on lap one saw him slip to twentieth spot. The winners from Brno then began a chase that saw them finish fifth, 43”8 off winners Wendlinger/Sharp.

In the Citation Cup, Ben Aucott and Stephane Daoudi (tenth overall) took the win in the JMB Racing Maserati MC12. Kutemann/Waaijenberg came home third. Aucott had already made certain of the title in the last round at Nogaro. It has been an unforgettable season for the Englishman who enjoyed a 22 point lead over the second placed driver at the end.