K plus K wins at Silverstone

Ryan Sharp and Karl Wendlinger have become the first driving pairing for more than 20 years to defend the Tourist Trophy title after winning the opening round of the new FIA GT Championship at Silverstone.

On their first weekend with the K plus K Motorsport team, the pair held off the challenge of Vitaphone pairing Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini to take victory in the Saleen S7R and the early championship lead.

Sharp and Wendlinger pulled out a solid lead in the early stages, before losing their advantage during a mid-race safety car period. They were fighting throughout with the #1 Maserati, which emerged ahead after an extremely fast final pit stop and driver change. However, Wendlinger kept the pressure on, overtaking the car when they caught up with a gaggle of backmarkers, and maintaining a lead to cross the finish line 5.499 seconds ahead of the chasing Maserati.

“The team put a lot of effort into this race and we've done a lot of testing and preparation,” Wendlinger said. “We weren't expecting to win the first race but we felt competitive.”

With the team's second car of Adam Lacko and Mario Dominguez finishing in a fine fifth position, K plus K Motorsports has taken an early lead in the GT1 Teams Championship.

The crew of the Maserati MC12 was pleased to start the season off with a podium, but admitted they could not catch the Saleen, which they considered to be in another class.

“It's been a really good start and we delivered our best today and it still feels like a victory for us,” Bertolini said. “We did a perfect stint and had a good strategy, but honestly for us it was impossible to win. I think this'll be a really difficult season for us,”

The second Vitaphone Maserati, which qualified third after a fine performance from Alex Müller, stopped on the track shortly after the first pit stop with a wheel problem, while it had been lying third, bringing out the safety car.

Third across the line, and making it three makes in the top three places, was the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6R of Xavier Maassen and Guillaume Moreau. The #4 PK Carsport Corvette of Hezemans and Kumpen was fourth, the car having suffered from understeer throughout. With the second K plus K Saleen fifth, a further two Corvettes were sixth and seventh, with Longin and Ruffier taking three points for SRT, finishing ahead of Menten and Palttala for DKR Engineering.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Karl Wendlinger (AUT)/Ryan Sharp (GBR) - K plus K Motorsport Saleen S7
Matteo Bobbi / Bert Longin. Triple H Team Hegersport. Maserati MC12. Silverstone. [Pic credit: Maserati]
Jamie Campbell-Walter / Warren Hughes. Nissan GT-R. Silverstone [Pic credit: DDPI]
RAC Tourist Trophy [pic credit: Jardine International]
Silverstone Supercar featuring the FIA GT1 World Championship[pic credit: Jardine International]
FIA GT Championship, Silverstone, 2009 [pic credit: Jardine International]
The winners celebrate
Vitaphone Maserati
Vitaphone Maserati
Darren Turner
Tim Sugden
Tim Sugden
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
Ryan Sharp

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.