FIA GT Nogaro: Third Row for Ramos- Negraõ

FIA GT Nogaro: Third Row for Ramos- Negraõ

05.10.2008: FIA GT Nogaro: Third Row for Ramos- Negraõ

Circuit Paul Armagnac, 3636 m., sunny 18°

Good performance from the Alexandre Negraõ/Miguel Ramos duo at the wheel of one of the Vitaphone Racing Team’s Maserati MC12s competing here in Nogaro during today’s qualifying practices in the eighth round of the FIA GT Championship.

Along the narrow, slippery circuit of southern France, Negraõ, making his debuting on this old European track, qualified his twelve cylinder Maserati with the fifth best time, only 7 tenths from Fassler’s pole position. Maserati no. 1, which is leading the Championship despite the 85 kg of ballast, got a place in the fifth row.

Driving ace Andrea Bertolini was slowed down twice at the qualifying practices by an adversary blocking the way.

This forced the driver from Modena to settle for the tenthest time, 1"532 from the pole position.

Tomorrow the two Tridente Maseratis will be raring to vie for a place at the podium and to defend their advantage in the championship, which sees the Bertolini/Bartels duo on top with 11 points over Hezemans/Gollin’s Corvette as well as the Vitaphone Racing Team leading the car makers’ classification by 22.5 lengths over their ad versaries.

Alexandre NEGRAÕ (Vitaphone Racing Team- Maserati MC12 no. 2) – Fifth best time

"The third row is certainly not a shabby result for me as it’s my first time in practically all European tracks. We are almost in front, just a little behind the first four cars who will take off at the starting line.

I have to make sure I start out right and keep my place or perhaps gain fourth position if there is half a chance, and then creep up as the race is in progress. The car is very good, perhaps just a little slower because of the 50 kg ballast we’re carrying, but I think that today we laid the ground for a climb on the podium tomorrow."

Andrea BERTOLINI (Vitaphone Racing Team- Maserati MC12 no. 1) – Tenth best time

"We were penalized by traffic at the track, with Bouchut who slowed us down quite a bit. These things happen occasionally, and unfortunately the FIA GT qualifying practices are based on performance over a single lap and the tires have to give their best then.

In the free practices we were moving at a good pace and I think we can run a good race. Now what we need to do is to solve the predicament of having to start out from the fifth row. The track is also very slippery and we need to find ways to minimize this problem."

Qualifying Results Nogaro – 8° FIA GT Championship 1. Fassler/Deletraz (Corvette Z06) pole position in 1’23"703; 2. Vosse/Franchi (Saleen S7) +0"107; 3. Bouchut/Maassen (Corvette Z06) +0"294; 4. Simonsen/Peter (Aston Martin DB9) +0"581; 5. Ramos/Negraõ (Vitaphone Racing Team-Maserati MC12) +0"725…10. Bertolini/Bartels (Vitaphone Racing Team- Maserati MC12) +1"532  

- Stefano Bergonzini -  aussi photo


05.10.2008 / MaP

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