Adria - italy

An all-Maserati front row at Adria

After Wendlinger's Saleen had been relegated to the back of the grid for a technical irregularity, the two MC12s, driven by Bertolini/Bartels and Ramos/Müller, will head the pack in the night time race at Adria.

During the official session the two Maseratis had performed superbly, partly due to an intelligent strategy aimed at pushing hard towards the end of qualifying when more rubber had been put down on the track and there was less traffic about.

The first of the Vitaphone Racing Team cars to go out was the No.2 with Alex Müller in command. The German attacked from the off and despite his first lap including some on-the-edge handling, the lap time was not up with the leaders. It was only on his second lap that the newcomer to the championship winning team clocked a provisional second with 1:12.088, even though a Corvette slowed him down in the final section. Andrea Bertolini came out from the pits with only seven minutes left in the session. He drove clinically and set his top time (1:12.086) on his second lap to beat Müller by two thousandths of a second.

Even though the Maseratis drove brilliantly, their times were bettered by Karl Wendlinger and his Saleen that stopped the clock at 1:11.759. The surprise came when the race's technical commissioners decided that the K plus K Motorsport car had violated article because the Saleen's aerodynamic elements had not been anchored properly into the car's bodywork.