Adria: Phoenix and AF Corse Take FIA GT Victory

The Phoenix Corvette of Gollin and Hezemans would take victory

A close and exciting race in both categories, under the setting sun, gave the spectators at the Adria International Raceway an excellent evening of entertainment in Italy today. Driving through the sunset into the darkness, the yellow Phoenix Racing Corvettes finished first and third, with Vitaphone taking second with the Maserati MC 12. In GT2, AF Corse strengthened its lead with a fine one-two, with BMS Scuderia Italia making it an all-Ferrari podium.


The third round of the 2008 FIA GT Championship, an evening race at the Adria International Raceway in Italy, saw the GMAC-backed Phoenix Racing team take its first win, with victory going to Fabrizio Gollin and Mike Hezemans in the nr 6 Corvette C6R. They finished 9 seconds ahead of the nr 1 Vitaphone Maserati MC 12 of Bertolini and Bartels, with the second Phoenix Corvette, driven by Swiss duo Marcel Fässler and Jean-Denis Deletraz, third, just 12 seconds behind the winner.
Bouchut and Maassen, carrying 40 kg penalty weight on the tight circuit after winning in Monza, were fourth in their SRT Corvette, allowing them to lose some ballast for Oschersleben. Larbre Competition had its best result to date, with fifth for Vosse and Franchi. Gigawave Motorsport finished in sixth position, the only Aston in the points after neither Jetalliance car reached the chequered flag. JMB Racing ran a steady race to finish seventh, ahead of ACA Argentina, their Ferrari 550 claiming its first FIA GT point.

The race saw a very tight four-way battle, between the two Corvettes, the Maserati and the nr 33 Jetalliance car. Fässler led at the start, but Bertolini took the lead on lap four, pulling out a narrow lead. It looked as if the Maserati would claim the win, but a drive-through penalty for a grid infraction dropped the car back. In the final stint, Gollin took the lead, and, despite being under pressure from the Maserati and his team-mate Fässler, crossed the line to take his 8th FIA GT win – and to give his team-mate Mike Hezemans his 12th victory.

Gollin, who dedicated his victory to his friend and former driving instructor who died this week, commented : “This was an emotional victory for me. The race was very tough for everyone. We fought, and at the end we pushed the car a lot and it went well. This is my home race so it’s great to have a win here, I’m happy.”
Michael Bartels added : “What’s really nice about the last three races we’ve had is that we’re all so close, and we’re really fighting fair, fighting for hundredths and thousandths of a second, and millimetres. I think we should keep on working like this and we’ll have a fantastic year.”

The GT1 podium was a very Germanic affair

In the Championship, Bertolini and Bartels are now tied with Monza winners Bouchut and Maassen, who finished fourth today, in the GT1 Drivers points, closely followed by Gollin and Hezemans. Kaufmann and Talkanitsa won the Citation Cup for AT Racing.


In GT2, AF Corse claimed its first one-two of the season, with the nr 50 Ferrari 430 GT2 of Bruni and Vilander taking the win ahead of their team-mates Thomas Biagi and Christian Montanari. The Ferrari cars had an extremely close fight with the nr 61 Prospeed Competition Porsche, but a problem with a headlight in the dark saw the Porsche, which had led the race, drop to fifth. Malucelli and Ruberti took third for BMS Scuderia Italia, their second podium after Silverstone.

Babini and Davies finished just off the podium for the second race in a row, while Collard and Westbrook took fifth after their headlight failure. The second BMS Ferrari was sixth, with Advanced Engineering Pecom seventh, giving Russo and Perez-Companc their first points. The final point for eighth went to CR Scuderia's nr 55 car of Mullen and Niarchos.

Gianmaria Bruni explained ”It was a very difficult race. I was very careful in the first braking turns. Emmanuel Collard, in the Porsche, passed me in a corner, in a very nice manoeuvre and then for the next fifteen laps was in front of me. It was very difficult for me to pass him on the straight. But I managed to pass him in the end. I braked late and managed to pass sideways, luckily enough not to touch, and went up the inside.” As for Montanari, second place and his best-yet result in GT2 was a fine birthday present for the San Marino driver. Biagi remarked on their progress : fourth in Silverstone, third in Monza and second in Adria. Oschersleben should be interesting !

Today’s result mirrors exactly the current GT2 Drivers classification, where Vilander and Bruni have taken a nine-point lead in the GT2 drivers classification, with their team-mates Biagi and Montanari second, and Ruberti/Malucelli third. AF Corse has taken a 19-point lead in the Teams classification.

AF Corse would take a 1-2 in GT2


For the first time, all four Argentine drivers finished in the points, with Lopez and Tuero finishing 8th in GT1, while Russo and Perez-Companc also took their first points in GT2, where they finished seventh.


The results remain provisional pending the fuel analysis of the winning cars in GT1 and GT2. Furthermore, the GT2 results are provisional subject to decision 20 of the Stewards of the Meeting regarding the conformity of Porsches 59, 60 and 61.


The fourth round of the 2008 FIA GT Championship will take place in Oschersleben, in Germany, on July 6th. The meeting will include the FIA GT3 European Championship, the GT4 European Cup and the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup.

1. 6 GT1 Gollin, Hezemans Corvette C6.R 96 128.70

2. 1 GT1 Bertolini, Bartels Maserati MC 12 96 9.435
3. 5 GT1 Fassler, Deletraz Corvette C6.R 6 96 12.333
4. 3 GT1 Bouchut, Maassen Corvette C6.R96 1:07.624
5. 7 GT1 Franchi, Vosse Saleen S7 96 1:11.723

6. 10 GT1 Peter, Simonsen Aston Martin DB9 95 1 lap
7. 15 GT1 Ferte, Aucott Maserati MC 12 95 1 lap
8. 50 GT2 Bruni, Vilander Ferrari F430 93 3 laps
9. 51 GT2 Biagi, Montanari Ferrari F430 93 3 laps
10. 77 GT2 Malucelli, Ruberti Ferrari F430 93 3 laps

11. 62 GT2 Babini, Davies Ferrari F430 93 3 laps
12. 61 GT2 Collard, Westbrook Porsche 911 GT3 RS 93 3 laps
13. 78 GT2 Rigon, Camathias Ferrari F430 93 3 laps
14. 37 GT1 Lopez, Tuero Ferrari 550 Maranello 92 4 laps
15. 95 GT2 Russo, Perez Companc Ferrari F430 92 4 laps

16. 55 GT2 Mullen, Niarchos Ferrari F430 92 4 laps
17. 57 GT2 Moser, Del Monte Ferrari F430 91 5 laps
18. 59 GT2 Williams, Ashburn Porsche 911 GT3 RS 89 7 laps
19. 12 GT1 Kaufmann, Talkanitsa Corvette C5-R 88 8 laps
20. 2 GT1 Negrao, Ramos Maserati MC 12 83 13 laps

21. 60 GT2 Palttala, Forsten Porsche 911 GT3 RS 82 14 laps
22. 36 GT1 Muller, Lichtner-Hoyer Aston Martin DB9 74 22 laps
23. 101 G2 Leinders, Kuppens Gillet Vertigo 44 52 laps
24. 33 GT1 Wendlinger, Sharp Aston Martin DB9 39 57 laps
25. 56 GT2 Bell, Kirkaldy Ferrari F430 36 60 laps

26. 4 GT1 Kumpen, Longin Saleen S7 11 85 laps
27. 13 GT1 Piccini, Menten Saleen S7 8 88 laps