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575 takes debut win as Biagi/Bobbi sew up titles.

With Gollin and Cappellari finishing in second place, and the Lister Racing cars failing to make the end of the race, BMS Scuderia Italia is now assured of the Teams' Championship, regardless of the ongoing appeal concerning Oschersleben.

JMB Racing's Estoril domination was complete, with the French team achieving the rare feat of claiming victory in both categories. Andrea Bertolini led from pole, and despite a starting problem in their second pit stop, which resulted in a stop and go penalty for a push start, recovered to win the race, finishing 22 seconds ahead of the nr 88 Team Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari of Jamie Davies and Darren Turner.

"I am very happy, for me, for the team and for Pirelli," Bertolini said afterwards. With the nr 50 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS of Stephane Ortelli and Marc Lieb finishing fourth, the title battle goes on to Monza.

Ortelli and Lieb have a lead of 9.5 points over Jamie Davies, and ten points over De Simone. This means that if the nr 50 car fails to score in Monza, and the nr 88 TMC car wins, Davies could be Champion.

In a similar scenario, if the nr 52 wins, De Simone could be Champion due to a greater number of victories. In the Teams Classification, Freisinger Motorsport leads by 16 points, with 18 still in play at the final round.

Although the Konrad Saleen briefly took the lead at the start, by the time the drivers came round at the end of the first lap, Walter Lechner Jr had been spun around by Mike Hezemans and the pole sitter in the nr 5 Force One Chrysler Viper GTS-R, was leading the race, followed by the Capellari/Gollin BMS Ferrari.

An incensed Lechner Jr soon overtook the N-GT cars, and was 15th by lap 5 while Gollin took the lead after a good battle with Hezemans on lap 9, and began to pull away slightly. The Babini/Peter nr9 Ferrari 575 Maranello was in third place, with the nr 15 Andrea Piccini/David Sterckx Lister Storm the highest place Lister, after the Jean Marc Gounon/Paul Knapfeld Creation Autosportif car failed to take the start and the sister Marco Zadra/Bobby Verdon-Roe machine stopped on the circuit with a problem after just three laps.

After the first round of pit stops, Anthony Kumpen, in the nr 5, began to chase down Luca Cappellari in the nr 22 BMS Ferrari, overtaking him on lap 42. However, brake problems saw Kumpen spin out on lap 56, retiring shortly afterwards. This put the battle for the lead between the nr 22 and 23 BMS cars, and on lap 58, Thomas Biagi took the lead. The nr 9 Ferrari then overtook the nr 22 car for second place. At this stage, there were four Ferrari cars in the top four, with no Lister cars left running, both the nr 14 and nr 15 Jamie Campbell-Walter/Nathan Kinch machine having retiring with mechanical problems in the transmission.

The situation was still similar at the end of the second round of pit stops, with the nr 23 ahead of the nr 9 and the nr 22. However, Babini was closing on Bobbi, and lapping quicker, and the JMB Racing driver took the lead on lap 87; six laps later, Gollin overtook his teammate Bobbi, whose car was carrying 50 kg penalty weight, for second.

With the nr 2 Konrad Saleen recovering to fourth, the situation remained like this until the chequered flag fell, giving JMB Racing its first win of the season, and a maiden win for the Ferrari 575 M Maranello.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ferrari 575 GTC   [pic credit: Ferrari Media]
Matteo Bobbi - BMS Scuderia Italia
Thomas Biagi - BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari   [pic courtesy www.fiagt.com]
Bruno Senna to race Von Ryan McLaren at Spa 24 Hours
Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS [Pic credit: Audi]
Start of the Race, Karl Wendlinger (AUT)/Ryan Sharp (GBR) - K plus K Motorsport Saleen S7 lead
Start of the Race, Karl Wendlinger (AUT)/Ryan Sharp (GBR) - K plus K Motorsport Saleen S7 lead
Luigi Lucchini (ITA)/Martin Ragginger (AUT) - Brixa Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Luigi Lucchini (ITA)/Martin Ragginger (AUT) - Brixa Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Luigi Lucchini (ITA)/Martin Ragginger (AUT) - Brixa Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Luigi Lucchini (ITA)/Martin Ragginger (AUT) - Brixa Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Luigi Lucchini (ITA)/Martin Ragginger (AUT) - Brixa Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Luigi Lucchini (ITA)/Martin Ragginger (AUT) - Brixa Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Luis Perez Companc (ARG)/Matias Russo (ARG) - Pecom Racing Ferrari F430
Luis Perez Companc (ARG)/Matias Russo (ARG) - Pecom Racing Ferrari F430
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Luis Perez Companc (ARG)/Matias Russo (ARG) - Pecom Racing Ferrari F430
Luis Perez Companc (ARG)/Matias Russo (ARG) - Pecom Racing Ferrari F430

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