6 July 2008
Oschersleben 2008: Jetalliance claims first 1-2.
Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp led home Jetalliance Racing team-mates Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer and Alex Muller to give the outfit its first ever one-two at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany on Sunday.
Over 30,000 spectators attended the fourth round in the 2008 FIA GT Championship and after seeing Jetalliance Racing's Aston Martin's lock-out the front row of the grid on Saturday, the Austrian-based outfit maintained its run on race day to take the best result possible.
Muller took the lead at the start, when Christophe Bouchut got ahead of pole-sitter Wendlinger. Muller then proceeded to lead until his pit stop, when Sharp took command of the race, pulling out a healthy lead.
In the final stages a safety car period closed up the pack but in the end Wendlinger and Sharp took the laurels by 1.518 seconds.
"My start wasn't perfect, that's why I had to push a lot later on, which really took it out of me. Then all our advantage was gone after the pace car period - so once again I had to push the limits," reflected Wendlinger, who notched up his 14th FIA GT win. "This has been a very hard fought-for win. That's why I'm extremely delighted with this result."
Jetalliance team boss Lichtner-Hoyer meanwhile was also delighted: "This first podium is a dream come true for me," he added. "We started this team three years ago, and I've only been in motorsport for four years. Standing next to these three professional drivers is a dream. We've been getting close to victory in the last few races already, but we were lacking the luck. Today we had it. It is brilliant."
Phoenix Racing's Marcel Fässler and Jean-Denis Deletraz took the final spot on the podium, albeit more than 25 seconds further back, while Miguel Ramos and Alexandre Negrao were fourth in their #2 Vitaphone Maserati MC 12 having recovered well from a five-place grid penalty from Adria.
Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels trailed home Ramos and Negrao in the sister Vitaphone car. Bertolini and Bartels lost out under the safety car, however, the four points scored means that the 2006 champions are now in sole command of the GT1 Drivers classification, with a two point lead over Wendlinger/Sharp, Bouchut/Xavier Maassen and Mike Hezemans / Fabrizio Gollin, all of whom have 22 points.
Hezemans and Gollin, who won the last event in Italy, were unlucky to finish sixth after a late spin and their speed was obvious, as witnessed by Hezemans' fastest race lap set on lap 32.
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