Portimao - portugal

Ramos - Müller

Maserati MC12 in second row at Algarve

Vitaphone Racing Team DHL's Maserati MC12 n° 33, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi and Matteo Bobbi, will start off tomorrow from second row in the sixth round of the FIA GT being held in Algarve, the spectacular circuit in Portimao.

Alessandro Pier Guidi, designated driver in today's qualifying practices, obtained his best performance (1:41.168) during the third lap, just four thousandths shy of Kumpen/Hezemans's Corvette. That means a fourth place seen as positive considering the 85 kg of ballast the car must carry.

The same situation is true for Andrea Bertolini's time (1:41.410), obtained during his second lap, earning him fifth place. The Italian driver, one of the fastest during the free practices held this morning together with team mate Michael Bartels, is nevertheless optimistic as pertains to tomorrow's race in spite of their 125-kg ballast.

Eighth place for Alex Müller. The German driver had ended the 15-minute timed session in third place (1:40.820), but will have to start off from fourth row as decided by race officials after the episode at Hungaroring; indeed, at the end of that race, race officials had decided to set him back five positions in the subsequent qualification, in other words, for the Portimao race.

Nevertheless, expectations for the race, which will start tomorrow at 2.15 pm (local time, GMT+0), run high even after today's results; the Maseratis' performance was affected by a low degree of grip of the track, very different from the more satisfying results obtained by the drivers during the free practices. For the record, the pole position went to Enrique Bernoldi on the Corvette (1:40.664).