FIA GT Nogaro:Ramos and Negraõ Win in France

FIA GT Nogaro:Ramos and Negraõ Win in France

06.10.2008: FIA GT Nogaro:Ramos and Negraõ Win in France

Circuit Paul Armagnac, 3364 m. sunny 25°

Another great day for the Modenese car maker today at the Nogaro Circuit, where Miguel Ramos and Alexandre Negraõ just tallied their second victory for the Maserati Vitaphone Racing Team in this wonderful FIA GT season, consolidating the leadership of the Vitaphone Racing Team in the Team’s Championship.

The Bertolini/Bartels duo got an excellent sixth place, climbing from the tenth position at the starting line —despite a questionable attempt by Gollin’s Corvette to overtake near the final moments, with ensuing contact, which destroyed Maserati no. 1’s left rear tire, forcing it to make a pit stop—confirming their leadership in the driver’s classification, when there are only two rounds left until the end of the season.

The start was smooth, with the cars moving according to their place at the starting line. At the twenty-third lap Bertolini overtook Gollin and moved up to sixth place. Then at the fortieth lap his partner Bartels left Sharp and Peter’s Aston Martin behind and at the 47th lap he also overtook Maassen’s Corvette, coming within podium range.

Meanwhile, car no. 2, driven by Ramos , reentered the track at second place for the final stint after a brilliant pit stop strategy directed by Maurizio Leschiutta. Here at the 70th lap, Negraõ completed the plan of action by overtaking Fassler and winning, while from third place, Bertolini was getting ready to overtake the Swiss driver who was in trouble and close the race with a double victory, but Gollin’s entrance at curve 9 caused the cut in the left rear tire and the forced stop at the pit for a tire change, with a consequent loss of 3 positions.

The new classification ranks Bertolini/Bartels still at the top with an advantage of six points over Hezemans/Gollin and 6.6 over team-mates Ramos/Negraõ. The Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati wholly dominates the Team’s Championship with a margin of 21.5 points over Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette. The next round are scheduled for 19 October in Zolder, Belgium.

Alexandre NEGRAÕ (Vitaphone Racing- Maserati MC12 no. 2)

"I think the foundations for victory were laid during yestery’s qualifying practices. I knew the car was fast, but I was expecting a race in low temperature. Instead, it became quite warm, which helped the tires to adhere better to the track. I am very happy about this first victory for me at the FIA GT during my debut season, and I thank my partner Ramos for his outstanding work.

Miguel RAMOS (Vitaphone Racing- Maserati MC 12 no. 2)

"It’s the second victory in my career in the FIA GT and it arrives magically. During my turn at the wheel I pushed the car as far as it would go to recoup the greatest amount of seconds possible. I entered the pit stop area just seconds after the Corvettes, then the lightning-like change in the pit lane and teamwork enabled us to get back in the track in mere seconds, thus going on to win the race. Everything went perfectly."

Andrea BERTOLINI (Vitaphone Racing- Maserati MC12 no. 1)

"It is a real pity because today we were advancing well too, with an effort that was about to recompense us with a place at the podium. Gollin’s intentional move towards my car snatched away the second place I was about to secure by taking advantage of Fassler’s tire trouble. By then Fassler had already been overtaken by Negraõ. Only thanks to Gollin’s calculated maneuver against us did he manage to get the second place he does not deserve. It is an sordid episode I want to dismiss from my mind sI can concentrate on the race in Zolder in two weeks.

Michael BARTELS (Vitaphone Racing- Maserati MC12 no. 1)

"After yesterday’s qualifying practice results which set us back quite a bit, car no. 2’s victory and our position confirm the Vitaphone team’s strength this season. Our cars have been the fastest ones in the track and have been consistently on top. Co rvette no. 5’s dubious maneuver prevented us from getting the double victory we deserved. We won the round and enlarged our advantage in the Team’s Championship, but we are more interested in the overall result."

Results NOGARO (France) – 8° Round FIA GT Championship

1. Ramos/Negraõ (Vitaphone Racing Team-Maserati MC12) after 1h59’45"063, average speed 147,56 Km/h; 2. Hezemans/Gollin (Corvette Z06) +5"003; 3. Fassler/Deletraz (Corvette Z06) +14"036; 4. Simonsen/Peter (Aston Martin DB9) +21"216; 5. Wendlinger/Sharp (Aston Martin DB9) +43"491; 6. Bertolini/Bartels (Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12) +43"705  

- Stefano Bergonzini Photo: Maserati Corse/Studio Mazzi – photographer Angelo Corradini -


06.10.2008 / MaP

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