The race - Copyright Maserati/Studio Mazzi
 

Race facts

Spa-Francorchamps - BELGIUM
03/08/2008

Parade 

The Spa weekend gets underway with the traditional parade

31/07/2008 - Spa
The cars that will line up in the Belgian endurance classic paraded through the streets from the town to the track as they do every year.

On the day, thousands of fans turn out to chat to the 24 Hours of Spa drivers and get a close up look at the cars that will be racing; this year is the 61st time the event will be run.

The three Maserati MC12s, two from Vitaphone Racing Team and one from JMB Racing, were the most photographed and admired cars.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free practice goes well for Maserati

01/08/2008 - Spa
Following the morning's free practice stints, the teams got to work on setting up the cars for the two qualifying sessions planned for this evening from 20.30 to 21.30 and from 22.00 to 23.30.

The teams running the Maserati MC12 used the ninety minutes on offer to settle on a race configuration but also kept one eye on the qualifying sessions to come.

Bearing this in mind, the lap times did not disappoint with the Maserati MC12s coming third, fifth and ninth on the timesheet.
The Corvette crewed by Fassler/Deletraz/Gollin/Hezemans was the fastest car on the track.

The number 1 MC12 driven by Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin, clocked the third best time of 2'17"646 while the number 2 car, with Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret on board, was fifth quickest (2'18"279). The MC12 fielded by JMB Racing and driven by Aucott/Ferté/Daoudi, came ninth with a time of 2'20"517. 

 

 

 

 

Ramos-Negrao-Lemeret-Pierguidi 

The classification after three hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
The race started on time under brooding skies and on a dry track. Bertolini and Negraõ were the drivers behind the wheel of their respective MC12s.

The early laps were incident free aside from a clash between a Corvette and Bertolini's MC12 that bent the Maserati's bonnet. The damage meant that the car's top speed dropped by 7 km/h..

Bartels took Bertolini's place at the driver change while Ramos replaced Negraõ. Light rain began to fall and this resulted in higher lap times but Maserati did not make any tyre changes. The third pit stops came around and Sarrazin took Bartels' place for a double stint.
Pier Guidi, Ramos' substitute in the other MC12, also faces a double shift.

1) Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler - Corvette Z06 – 77 giri
2) Wendlinger/Sharp/Muller/Lichtner – Aston Martin DB9 - a 55"965
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 1’01"534
4) Menten/Margaritis/Schlunssen/Alzen – Corvette Z06 – a 1’01"915
5) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 1’02"409
6) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 1’10"167
13) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 4 giri

 

 

 

 

Bertolini-Bartels-Sarrazin-Van De Poele 

The classification after six hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
Hour 6 is the first of three stages where championship points are awarded in this Belgian classic.

The two Vitaphone Racing team MC12s, first and second, were sitting behind the safety car that had come on when the Aston Martin driven by Margaritis crashed.

This weather in this part of the race was very poor, a factor that contributed to Vitaphone making the wrong call at a driver change between Stephane Sarrazin and Andrea Bertolini; Sarrazin had done brilliantly to climb from ninth to second. The wets mounted on Bertolini's car were not suited to the track conditions and he was forced to pit again, slipping to fifth in the process.

On slicks, the 2006 champion set about the pack as he lapped much quicker than the rest to make up the minute lost in no time at all.
Alessandro Pier Guidi, at the wheel of the n°2 MC12 had also been as quick during his double stint, overtaking spectacularly as he made his way up to second in the standings. The talented youngster in the MC12, who also shone last year, was replaced by Alexander Negraõ.

The safety car was called on after a few cars lost control and went off the track; it was now, as the sixth hour mark came up, that the Vitaphone race wall planned the moves that saw its two cars move into the lead.
The JMB Racing car with gentlemen drivers Aucott/Ferte/Daoudì on board, were now in seventh after a steady drive.

1) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 147 giri
2) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 1”848
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 1’29”973
4) Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler - Corvette Z06 – a 2’12”069
5) Wendlinger/Sharp/Muller/Lichtner – Aston Martin DB9 - a 1 giro
6) Kox/Rusinov/Lammers/Enge – Lamborghini Murcielago – a 1 giro
7) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 5 giri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bertolini-Bartels-Sarrazin-Van De Poele 

The classification after nine hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
The Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12s led by two laps from Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson's Aston Martin in second.

In sixth, and seven laps down, was the JMB Racing MC12.
Rain continued to fall as this period of the race saw some notable crews retire like Jet Alliance's n°33 Aston Martin and the n°6 Corvette driven by Menten/Margaritis/Schlunssen/Alzen.
Eric Van de Poele took Andrea Bertolini's place with Lemeret replacing Negraõ. Sarrazin then climbed into the n°1 MC12 and Pier Guido the n°2 car.

The safety car is now on again following an incident with a GT3.

1) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 218 giri
2) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 57'196
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 2 giri
4) Kox/Rusinov/Lammers/Enge – Lamborghini Murcielago – a 5 giri
5) Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler - Corvette Z06 – a 7 giri
6) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 8 giri

 

 

 

 

 

The classification after twelve hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
With twelve hours on the clock the drivers earned valuable championship points from the standings.

Andrea Bertolini enjoyed a one lap lead over Alexander Negraõ. In third was the Aston Martin crewed by Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson. The MC12's championship rivals Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler were in fifth in the n°6 Corvette and trying to claw back the Lamborghini driven by Kox/Rusinov/Lammers/Enge.

This part of the race saw two lengthy stints by Stephane Sarrazin in the n°1 car and Alessandro Pier Guidi in car n°2, as well as the appearance of the safety car when a GT2 was involved in a crash.
The MC12 fielded by JMB Racing and driven by Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi is in sixth.

1) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 282 giri
2) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 1 giro
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 3 giri
4) Kox/Rusinov/Lammers/Enge – Lamborghini Murcielago – a 6 giri
5) Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler - Corvette Z06 – a 7 giri
6) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 11 giri

 

 

 

 

 

The classification after fifteen hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
The three hour interval between the twelfth and the fifteenth hour saw two Belgian drivers go head to head in their MC12s.

Vitaphone Racing Team drivers Stephane Lemeret and Eric Van de Poele set a lightning pace with Lemeret closing the gap to the lead car. He even took top spot briefly before pulling into the pits to be replaced by Ramos; Van de Poele handed over to Bartels.
The JMB Racing MC12 has climbed a place and is now fifth.

1) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 282 giri
2) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 6'316
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 3 giri
4) Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler - Corvette Z06 – a 5 giri
5) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 12 giri

 

 

 

 

 

The classification after eighteen hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
The exciting battle between the two Vitaphone Maserati MC12s is setting the 24 Hours of Spa alight.

The two crews are lapping much quicker than the rest of the pack and the gap to the third placed car has grown from three to four laps. Sarrazin, Pier Guidi, Bartels, Ramos and Lemeret have all held the lead as they take advantage of one car pulling into the pits, then the other. The Frenchman upped the tempo and built a lead over Lemeret, who was in the second Vitaphone Racing car, as the eighteenth hour ticked by.

The JMB Racing MC12 is not far off the leading pace and sitting comfortably in fifth just behind the Corvette driven by Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler.

1) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 433 giri
2) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 25'173
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 4 giri
4) Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler - Corvette Z06 – a 7 giri
5) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 13 giri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aucott-Ferte-Daoudi 

The classification after twenty one hours

08/03/2008 - Spa
The two Maserati MC12s continue to lead the race as Hour 21 came up but the duel between the two is less intense than earlier.

The number 1 car has built up a lead of a lap over the number 2 MC12. The JMB Racing car climbed to fourth after a fire hit the Corvette Z06 driven by Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler, forcing them into a lengthy pit stop.

1) Bertolini/Bartels/Van de Poele/Sarrazin - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 508 giri
2) Ramos/ Negraõ/Pier Guidi/Lemeret - Maserati MC12 GT1 – a 1 giro
3) Turner/Simonsen/Peter/Thompson – Aston Martin DB9 - a 5 giri
4) Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi - Maserati MC12 GT1 – 13 giri