FIA GT »

Oschersleben ends in stewards' room.

The #57 MENX Ferrari 360 Modena incurred damage in a collision before the first corner, and had to pit for new tyres, effectively putting the car out of contention.

By lap nine, however, Freisinger's Stephane Ortelli was only four seconds behind Bertolini, followed by Darren Turner in the #88 TMC car. The situation remained remarkably stable for the next thirty laps, until the leader came into the pits for a first stop.

The #88 Ferrari then got ahead of the Freisinger Porsche and took the class lead, having opted not to stop until after lap 50. Indeed, the three leading N-GT cars, the #88 Ferrari, the #61 EMKA Porsche and other TMC 360 Modena were all yet to stop at this point, meaning the #52 car was fourth. When the cars finally pitted, JMB's Fabrizio de Simone took the lead again in the Ferrari, with the Freisinger-TMC order restored in his wake.

The final pit-stops for the #52 and #50 put the #88 back in the lead, but Bertolini retook the advantage on lap 93, while Ortelli, who went wide on his first lap out of the pits, dropped back to fifth.

"It was a very good race," Bertolini revealed, "In the second stint, Fabrizio was very quick - it was an unbelievable stint. It is very hard, because the N-GT class is very
close, and all the drivers are fantastic. This is only our second win, as the throttle broke in Anderstorp, but four or five cars could have won every one of our races. I think this is a special day for us and for Ferrari, to have all our cars on the podium."

"It seems that all the Ferrari cars were in good condition here," co-driver de Simone agreed, "We had a really good step up with the tyres, all the work everyone has done in Ferrari, Pirelli and the team have all been in the right direction and it was really good out there. It was difficult today with traffic, and cars going off and bringing dirt onto the track, so we just paid attention and built up the times."

By lap 110, after the safety car, the #61 EMKA car was running second in N-GT but, over the last few laps it dropped back to fourth, overtaken by both TMC Ferraris for an all-Ferrari podium for the second time this year, and an identical result to Barcelona.

"A very good day for TMC, and we're happy," the British team's title chaser, Jamie Davies said, "Obviously we would have liked to win the race, but second and third for the team is very important, and it has helped my championship hopes.

"Darren made an exceptionally good start in his stint, and handed the car over to me. We had a problem with the drink in Darren's stint, and my stint was with no drink and no radio either, so I was not sure what the situation was when the safety car came out, so I got caught out on the restart. We just pushed on as we could, it was a difficult race, but we managed to get some points out of it."



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