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Silverstone 2008: Wendlinger and Sharp triumph

20 April 2008

Jetalliance duo Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp took the spoils at Silverstone on Sunday following an action-packed two-hour race, which kicked off the 2008 FIA GT Championship season.

Starting in the rain and fog, tyre choice - and the time to change to intermediates and then slicks as the conditions improved - became vitally important and with a late safety car period closing up the front-runners, it resulted in an extremely close finish. Indeed going into the final six laps the top eight were separated by just eight seconds.

Gigawave Motorsport's Philipp Peter led at the re-start, but it was Sharp, in the Jetalliance-run Aston Martin DBR9, who claimed the lead and kept hold, despite pressure from the #1 Vitaphone Maserati, which made a great recovery after a poor qualifying session.

In the end though, Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels had to be content with the runners-up spot, 3.807 seconds adrift at the chequered flag.

Philipp Peter and Allan Simonsen meanwhile took third, ahead of the SRT Corvette of Christophe Bouchut and Xavier Maassen, while the Phoenix Racing Corvette of Mike Hezemans and Fabrizio Gollin came in fifth.

Further down the order Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer and Alex Müller were sixth in the #36 Jetalliance Aston Martin, while Miguel Ramos and Alexandre Negrao took P7 followed by Marcel Fässler and Jean-Denis Deletraz, who claimed the pole on Saturday.

In the GT2 category Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni were victorious for AF Corse, capitalising on an excellent start in the #50 Ferrari 430 GT2.

New team CR Scuderia took second and started its FIA GT career with a podium thanks to the efforts of Andrew Kirkaldy and Rob Bell in the #56 Ferrari 430 GT2.

"I think AF Corse had an advantage over us today as we didn't make the right tyre choice at the start," said Kirkaldy. "We're here to win but second place is a great start and we can build on that and make improvements before Monza."

BMS Scuderia Italia's Paolo Ruberti and Matteo Malucelli also managed a rostrum result on their debut with the Ferrari 430 GT2 and took third, while the G2 honours went to Kenneth Heyer and Stepan Vojtech in their GTO Charouz Mosler MT900.

For the full result click here.


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