In São Paulo, Brazil, at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Brazilian duo Bernoldi and Negrao won the penultimate round of the GT1 World Championship. They started fourth in Vitaphone Racing Team’s Maserati MC12 no. 2 but climbed the filed to cross the line first.
Taking full advantage of the Maserati pit stop crew’s sterling work, they overtook Hennerici/Margaritis’ Corvette before blasting past Turner/Enge’s Aston Martin. Twenty thousand spectators joined in a full-throated acclamation of the duo’s performance as the chequered flag fell.
Team mates Bartels/Bertolini, in Maserati MC12 no. 1, finished ninth, earning two highly welcome points for their fight in the driver’s classification. With just one more championship round to go, this pair lead their closest rivals, Turner and Enge, by 28 points. Heger/Mueller’s Maserati MC12 number 33 came in tenth. Muller took fastest lap, his 20th , which was timed at 1:34.168.
Xandinho Negrao said, “It was exciting to win once again driving a Maserati and in my home country, in front of all these people, to boot. In the first stint Enrique Bernoldi was very good at remaining among the first racers. Then, thanks to the pit stop, we were able to gain one position. We didn’t have enough power to overtake the Aston Martin on the straight stretch so I thought of attacking it at some other point and I succeeded, remaining at the front of the race until the finish line. Congratulations to the entire team and crew”.
According to Enrique Bernoldi, “It was a great race. We knew we had what it takes to win, but we were nevertheless aware of how difficult it could be. We were able to get this excellent result with the help of the crew’s perfect performance. We all wanted the victory: the mechanics, the engineers and the drivers. I am doubly pleased because this year I worked very hard and this is my first international success in this racetrack”.
The final race in the championship, on the 5th December at the San Luis circuit in Argentina, will decide the winners of the drivers’, team and manufacturers classifications, all currently topped by Maserati.
Championship Race results:
1. Bernoldi/Negrao – Vitaphone Racing Team – Maserati MC12 1:01.23.296
2. Tuner/Enge – Young Driver AMR – Aston Martin DB9 + 2.348
3. Hennerici/Margaritis – Phoenix Rarcing – Corvette Z06 + 5.874
9. Bartels/Bertolini – Vitaphone Racing Team – Maserati MC12 + 22.925
10. Heger/Mueller – Triple H Team – Maserati MC12 + 23.225
18. Serra/Longo – Triple H Team – Maserati MC12 > 1 min.
FIA GT1 World Championship driver’s classification:
1. Bartels/Bertolini – Vitaphone Racing Team – Maserati MC12 132 p.
2. Turner/Enge – Aston Martin DB) – Young Driver AMR 104 p.
3. Hennerici – Corvette Z06 – Phoenix Racing 99 p.