Portimao - PRT

Bartels/Bertolini: a Maserati Triumphs in Algarve

It was a splendid victory, that of Vitaphone Racing Team's Maserati MC12 no. 1 driven by Bartels/Bertolini, in the seventh round of the FIA GT1 World Championship in the Algarve, Portugal, circuit.

After the second place won yesterday in the Qualifying Race, today the Italian/German duo won the Championship Race thanks to a perfect racing strategy and the outstanding work of the entire team. Bertolini started off from first row in the grid and was able to maintain his second position in close contact with Dumbreck/Krumm's Nissan GT-R no. 23, building the foundation for a splendid Vitaphone Racing Team pit stop. The masterful work performed at the pit enabled Maserati MC 12 no. 1 to reach top position. Bartels, with a new set of tires, was able to cruise along, keeping in check the recovery attempts of Mutsch/Westbrook's Ford GT Matech no. 5 until the end. Thanks to this victorious weekend in Algarve, Bartels/Bertolini widen the gap between them and their closest follower in the drivers' classification, Thomas Mutsch's Ford GT Matech, now left 27 points behind. Three races from the end, the competition is still keen and furious. The next round in Navarra will be a new circuit for everyone.

The same race ended at the first curve for Vitaphone Racing Team's Maserati MC12 no. 2 driven by Bernoldi/Ramos. Bernoldi was unable to avoid crashing against Pastorelli/Schwager's Lamborghini Murcielago no. 38, which had fishtailed after going into the artificial grass.

Triple H Team Hegersport's Maserati MC12 no. 33, driven by Heger/Mueller went off-track at the second lap and ended the race in ninth place. The performance of Triple H Team Hegersport's second Maserati MC12, driven by Pier Guidi/Mayr-Melnhof, was heavily conditioned by a flat to the left back tire in the race's initial stages. To confirm the Maserati's competitiveness, Pier Guidi's fast laps after the pit stop got him the best overall time of the day with 1:43.275.

Next race, 24 October, in Navarra, Spain.