Adria: Phoenix and AF Corse Take Pole for the Night Race + Grid

Phoenix Racing just nipped the Vitaphone Maserati for pole

The FIA GT Championship has returned to the Adria International Raceway, not far from Venice, for the third round of the season. The race will be held on Saturday evening, starting at 19:50, driving through the sunset into the night.

Marcel Fässler took his second pole position of the year, lapping the short and tight Adria circuit in a time of 1:11.731 in his GMAC-sponsored Phoenix Corvette C6-R. The Swiss driver, still recovering from a heavy crash in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last week, proved that he was back on form, setting the fastest time in all three of today’s sessions. “It’s very important to get pole at this circuit,” he said. “It will be very hard to overtake tomorrow. The race is going to be really hot and there will be a lot of traffic; we need to really be clever with the strategy to be there at the end.”

Qualifying was fast, furious and extremely close around the 2.702 km track. The provisional pole position changed constantly in GT1 during the 15-minute session, with Negrao, Müller, Bertolini, Wendlinger and finally Fässler occupying the top spot. The classification saw the top ten cars separated by just a second, with three different makes in the top three : Fässler’s Corvette followed by Bertolini in the Vitaphone Maserati and Karl Wendlinger in the Jetalliance Aston Martin.

However, a number of cars were later penalised for crossing the white lines around the track with all four wheels, losing their best times. This including pole man Fässler, but his second-best time still proved good enough for pole. He will therefore line up alongside Bertolini’s Maserati, with Karl Wendlinger on the second row. However, despite Negrão setting the fourth-best time, his Maserati MC 12 will be demoted five places on the grid, after the nr 2 car caused an avoidable collision with the nr 56 CR Scuderia Ferrari during pre-qualifying. Fässler’s team-mate Gollin will therefore start fourth, with the SRT Corvette and the Gigawave Aston Martin sharing the third row of the grid. José Maria Lopez qualified the nr 37 ACA Argentina Ferrari in 8th position, and will start 7th, alongside the Larbre Competition Saleen S7-R.

Bruni in the AF Corse Ferrari took pole in GT2

In GT2, Gianmaria Bruni claimed his first pole position of the year in the nr 50 AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT2, after a close battle with Emmanuel Collard in the Prospeed Competition Porsche. With Collard heading for parc fermé after four laps, Bruni managed to set pole on his last flying lap. This was AF Corse’s first pole of the year, with the bonus of Thomas Biagi qualifying the nr 51 AF Corse car in third. Collard will start from second place in GT2.
“The lap times are very close, so throughout the two-hour race, it’ll be very interesting and very close,” Bruni commented. “The pit stops will probably decide the winner of the race.”

Matias Russo was an excellent fourth, the best qualifying position for both the young Argentine driver and for the Advanced Engineering Pecom Racing Team. He was followed by the two BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 430 GT2 cars, and the two CR Scuderia Ferrari cars.

With just one G2 car in competition this weekend, Bas Leinders was 26th on the grid. The iPOS-sponsored RB Immo Racing Team Saleen S7 did not qualify, and will start from the pit lane in tomorrow’s race.

Mechanics work on the Gillet Vertigo - the only G2 car in the field at Adria

The Grid
1. 5 GT1 Marcel Fassler Corvette Z06 1:11.602

2. 1 GT1 Andrea Bertolini Maserati MC 12 1:11.802 0.200 0.200
3. 33 GT1 Karl Wendlinger Aston Martin DB9 1:11.815 0.013 0.213
4. 2 GT1 Alexandre Negrao Maserati MC 12 1:11.916 0.101 0.314
5. 3 GT1 Christophe Bouchut Corvette Z06 1:12.039 0.123 0.437

6. 6 GT1 Fabrizio Gollin Corvette Z06 1:12.058 0.019 0.456
7. 10 GT1 Philipp Peter Aston Martin DB9 1:12.171 0.113 0.569
8. 37 GT1 Jose Maria Lopez Ferrari 550 Maranello 1:12.311 0.140 0.709
9. 7 GT1 Greg Franchi Saleen S7 1:12.408 0.097 0.806
10. 36 GT1 Alex Muller Aston Martin DB9 1:12.667 0.259 1.065

11. 15 GT1 Alain Ferte Maserati MC 12 1:12.780 0.113 1.178
12. 4 GT1 Anthony Kumpen Saleen S7 1:13.155 0.375 1.553
13. 50 GT2 Gianmaria Bruni Ferrari F430 1:15.094 1.939 3.492
14. 61 GT2 Emmanuel Collard Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:15.108 0.014 3.506
15. 12 GT1 Wolfgang Kaufmann Corvette C5-R 1:15.110 0.002 3.508

16. 51 GT2 Thomas Biagi Ferrari F430 1:15.394 0.284 3.792
17. 95 GT2 Matias Russo Ferrari F430 1:15.522 0.128 3.920
18. 77 GT2 Matteo Malucelli Ferrari F430 1:15.631 0.109 4.029
19. 78 GT2 Davide Rigon Ferrari F430 1:15.759 0.128 4.157
20. 56 GT2 Andrew Kirkaldy Ferrari F430 1:15.826 0.067 4.224

21. 57 GT2 Fabrizio Del Monte Ferrari F430 1:15.829 0.003 4.227
22. 55 GT2 Tim Mullen Ferrari F430 1:15.869 0.040 4.267
23. 62 GT2 Fabio Babini Ferrari F430 1:15.875 0.006 4.273
24. 60 GT2 Markus Palttala Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:16.041 0.166 4.439
25. 59 GT2 Richard Williams Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:16.314 0.273 4.712

26. 101 G2 Bas Leinders Gillet Vertigo 1:18.443 2.129 6.841