FIA GT at Dijon 2006
The Maserati MC12 driven by Jamie Davies and Thomas Biagi won the French round of this year's Championship at Dijon, closely followed by two Aston Martin DBR9s.
As part of the Centernary celebrations, the BMW Motorsport McLaren F1 GTR which won the very first race with JJ Lehto and Steve Soper at the wheel had been brought to the French circuit of Dijon to form the centrepiece of a special 100-race exhibition.
After 132 laps (500 km) completed in 2h55'10"533, Davies and Biagi had built an advantage of 19"933 over Wendlinger-Peter (Race Alliance Aston Martin DBR9) and 23"622 over Deletraz-Picciniand (Phoenix Aston Martin DBR9). Bartels-Bertolini's MC12 also did well despite the extra 60kg 'success ballast' and a starting position of sixth position on the grid.
With this result, Maserati secured its fourth win of the season and, in Bartels and Bertolini, maintain command of the Drivers' championship (followed by Wendlinger, Peter, Deletraz and Piccini).
Vitaphone Racing Team, who fielded the Maseratis in the race, head the team championship. Davies and Biagi, starting from the front row of the grid, took command on lap 48 shortly after the pit stop. They held the lead until the end of the race. Their team mates, Bartels and Bertolini, were in second place for the whole of the latter part of the race but the extra weight handicap did not allow the two to maintain this faster speed throughout the last hour.
Thomas Biagi said after the race, "A great victory. After the third and second place at Paul Ricard and Oschersleben, first place here is what was missing this year. Davies started well in the first stint. When I took the wheel, I tried to increase the advantage over Janis' Saleen. We then clashed and I was hit with a drive-through. Still, I managed to hold first place. The car and the Pirelli tyres were perfect. It was a weekend that improved day after day".
In GT2 it was Ferrari 430 GT2s all the way again with AF Corse’s Matteo Bobbi and Jaime Melo (above) leading an all-Ferrari trio of Scuderia Ecosse’s Mullen and Niarchos and the second AF Corse car of Salo and Aguas.
The two supporting GT3 races saw wins for the Racing Box Dodge Viper of Ceccato and Livio in the first race followed by the Tech 9 Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 of Edwards and Keen (above) taking the flag in the second - the first win for a Porsche in this inaugural season of the Championship. The Porsche was followed by the BMS Scuderia Italia Aston Martin DBRS9 of Groppi and Seiler, with the nr 10 Racing Box Dodge Viper of Bornhauser and Blanchemain in third.
1 Davies/Biagi Maserati MC12
2 Peter/Wendlinger Aston Martin DBR9
3 Piccini/Deletraz Aston Martin DBR9
4 Janis/Bert Saleen S7R
5 Bartels/Bertolini Maserati MC12
6 Babini/Pescatori Aston Martin DBR9
Story: Classic Driver
Photos: FIA GT - Strictly Copyright
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