31 August 2009
Vitaphone handed Hungaroring win.
Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini picked up an unexpected GT1 class win at the Hungaroring after the first car across the line failed post-race scrutineering.
The #14 K plus K Motorsport Saleen S7R appeared to have claimed the victory after Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp crossed the line first at the end of an action-packed race, but the Czech team was later excluded as the car failed the engine stall test.
The stewards' decision therefore raised the #1 Vitaphone Maserati MC 12 to top spot, leading a 1-2 as the #33 Vitaphone Racing/Team DHL MC 12 took second spot, ahead of the #8 Sangari Team Brazil Corvette Z06.
The revised result propelled Bartels and Bertolini into a four-point lead over Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen, with Xavier Maassen now third. Although the results - including those from GT2 and G2 - are now confirmed, they remain provisional pending anti-doping controls.
Before the officials intervened, however, the K plus K car recovered to take first place on the road after contact early in the race negated its front row start.
“The race was very hectic," Wendlinger reported, prior to hearing the results of scrutineering, "In the first stint, Alex [Müller] missed the braking a bit in the first corner after a few laps, then we had contact and I dropped back, but I managed to catch up again quite quickly, passing a few cars.
"I tried to pass the Luc Alphand Corvette, but had to try and avoid him and ended up going on the dirty line. I dropped back again, caught up again, tried to pass Bert Longin and touched him - for which I am sorry. Then Ryan did a great middle stint.
"In my second stint, two laps after I'd left the pits, the fuel alarm went off, I lost power steering, had a misfire and no radio, no power shift. I said 'okay, that's it', but suddenly, after three laps, everything was working again. I don't know why or how, but I'm happy that I finished first. It was good luck to win this race and get these points.”
The Bartels/Bertolini Maserati prevailed to take second spot, despite carrying 80kg of success ballast, bouncing back after losing its grip on the blue riband Spa 24 Hours last time out.
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