World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Maserati In The FIA GT World Championship

Maserati Adds Drivers’ World Title To Its 2008 Team Title In The FIA GT World Championship

Maserati’s domination of the 2008 FIA GT World Championship was completed at the weekend (23 November 2008) in Argentina with Maserati MC-12 drivers Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels adding the Drivers’ Championship title to the Team title already secured by their team, Vitaphone Maserati Racing, at the penultimate round of the series.

For Bartels and Bertolini it was their second FIA GT title, following their debut win in 2006 and it is the third drivers’ title for Vitaphone Maserati, following Thomas Biagi's victory last year. The 2008 title is the fourth consecutive title for the Vitaphone Maserati team. The victories bring to ten the number of titles won by the MC-12 following its 2004 debut, four drivers’, four team awards and two manufacturer titles.

Click for big version

The domination of the series, though, did not make it an easy race for the team. At the start, Bertolini roared into third position behind Mackowiecki and Fassler. Battling the track's tyre grip problems due to dust and sand and the new, rather thin paving, the Italian driver adopted a conservative tactic together with team-mate Bartels, letting their adversaries move on to stay in control of the race and not take unnecessary risks. There were quite a few accidents, and only five cars made it to the finish line. During the 20th lap Negraõ lost control of the car at turn 16 and was forced to leave the track.

Click for big version

"It was an extremely tough race; every time I moved ahead, the car would pick up dust and sand and would become uncontrollable,” explained Bertolini. “This is why I tried to drive it as smoothly as possible in order to make sure it made it to the finish line because an accident would have ruined everything. When I jumped in the car to run the last decisive laps, I felt an enormous responsibility weighing on me, but luckily everything went fine."

Michael Bartels confirmed that the new track and lack of knowledge and experience of the Argentinean conditions provided a real sting in the tail of the championship battle.

"The track’s condition was really difficult and this turned the race which should have been a stroll in the park into a sort of lottery in which anything could happen,” he said. “In the end we once again emerged as champions and this is what counts. I would like to thank Stephane Sarrazin and Eric van de Poele from here in Argentina for the fantastic job they did in Spa, enabling us to win the 24 Hour, which once again proved to be the key race to win the championship. I'd also like to emphasize the great job the San Luis community did in creating this circuit in just nine months."

Results San Luis (Argentina) – 10° round FIA GT Championship
1. Longin/Kumpen (Saleen S7) after 51 laps, average speed 159,63 km/h; 2. Hezemans/Gollin (Corvette Z06) +0"561; 3. Soulet/Ledesman/Fumal (Corvette Z06) +34"211; 4. Lopez/Tuero (Ferrari 550 Maranello) +1'42"310; 5. Bertolini/Bartels (Vitaphone Racing Team- Maserati MC12) +2'13"996;…

DNF Ramos/Negraõ (Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12)

Classifica finale FIA GT 2008
1. Bertolini/Bartels 70 punti; 2. Hezemans/Gollin 66 p.; 3. Ramos/Negraõ 52.5 p.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: Monkeypox Outbreak Can Still Be Contained, Insists UN Health Agency
The monkeypox outbreak that has been reported in 16 countries and several regions of the world can still be contained and the overall risk of transmission is low, the UN health agency said on Tuesday...

UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>

UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>

Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>

UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>