Maserati has taken the 2006 FIA GT World Championship title for teams with the Vitaphone Racing Team's fifth place in the eighth round in Hungary giving them an unassailable lead at the weekend (Sunday 1 October 2006) in the Championship.
Despite the 85 kg handicap on Bertolini-Bartels' car and 105 kg weighing down that of Davies-Biagi (the heaviest car in the race) the Maserati MC12 raced well and allowed the team to claim the title with two races to spare.
The race was a lively one and was won by Montermini-Bert-Janis in their Saleen S7 R. Next came the Corvette C6R driven by Kumpen-Longin-Hezemans and the Aston Martin of Babini-Malucelli. Thanks to the performance at the Hungaroring, the Drivers' championship is now much closer: with two races left Bertolini and Bartels have a nine point advantage over the Aston Martin driven by Piccini-Deletraz.
The two Maserati MC12s have battled with the weight handicap since the start. In the early part of the race, Bertolini tussled with Bouchut's Lamborghini and overtook it on lap 5. Biagi, on lap 17, got the better of Peter's Aston Martin DBR 9. The first driver change made by the Maserati crews took place between laps 30 and 33 after which Bartels and Davies had to deal with Ramos' Aston Martin. One hour from the end, Bartels handed over to Bertolini.
The stop allowed the Maserati MC12 to edge past two adversaries. On lap 69, Davies gave up the driving seat to Biagi. The Italian's stint was hampered by a clash with Babini's Aston Martin DBR 9 and a spin. The duel in the closing stages involved Bertolini's Maserati MC12 and Gollin's Aston Martin DBR 9.
With a spectacular overtaking move, the Trident driver managed to sweep past his adversary on Lap 99 earning fifth place in the process.
It was also a weekend of glory for the Maserati MC 12 in the Italian "Sara GT championship". In the penultimate round of the season, in the two races at Mugello the team Playlife car driven by Toni Wilander and Giambattista Giannoccaro took the plaudits.
The next FIA GT Championship will be held on 15 October at Adria (Italy) and 18 November in Dubai (UAE).
FIA GT Championship: final results at "Hungaroring"
1. Montermini-Bert-Janis (Saleen S7 R) 102 giri in 3.01.38.944;
2. Kumpen-Longin-Hezemans (Corvette C6R) + 10.506;
3. Babini-Malucelli (Aston Martin DBR 9) + 26.686;
4. Piccini-Deletraz (Aston Martin DBR 9) +1.18.430;
5. Bertolini-Bartels (Maserati MC12) + 1.22.812
6. Gollin-Ramos (Aston Martin DBR 9) + 1.23.498;
7.Biagi-Davies (Maserati MC12) + 1 lap;
8. Bouchut-Leuenberger-Fox + 2 lap;
9. Barbosa-Balfe + 3 lap
FIA GT Championship for Drivers (after eighth races):
1. Bartels e Bertolini 61;
2. Piccini-Deletraz, Bert 52;
3. Janis 51; 4.Babini 41;
5. Biagi-Davies 38;
6. Longin-kumpen-Hezemans 34.
1. Vitaphone Racing Team 99;
2. Aston Martin Racing BMS 56,5;
3. Phoenix Motorsport e Zakspeed 52;
4.GLPK Carsport 34.