Adria win puts Bartels and Bertolini clear

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The Independent Online

The Vitafone Maserati of Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini took the chequered flag in the second round of the FIA GT Championship in Adria, Italy. They came home 10 seconds ahead of the Carsport Corvette C6R of Kumpen and Hezemans. The second Maserati, of Müller and Ramos, finished third, but could have claimed the win without a stop-go penalty.

The win puts Bartels and Bertolini clear at the top of the championship.

It was a bitterly disappointing for Silverstone winners, Ryan Sharp and Karl Wendlinger. "It was all looking good in free practice when we were running quickest." said Sharp after the race. "Then Karl did another one of his Qualifying laps and that put us on pole for the race."

"Unfortunately in post qualifying scrutineering the FIA picked up on very small part of the front wing that had been fitted 3mm from where it should have been, so all of our times were deleted from qualifying and we started the race at the back of the grid."

While Sharp was bitterly disappointed he is adamant that the mistake would not have affected the performance of the Saleen. "It's pretty hard to swallow that 3mm could lose you all of your times but that the way it is. Those are the rules and we need to be far more careful in the future. There wouldn't have been any performance gain from it but we all need to follow the rules and be more stringent in the races to come."

"In the end though it wouldn't have made any difference as on the green flag lap we had a mechanical failure in the drive shaft so we were out of the race anyway."

He is an experienced enough racer to know that the smallest attention to detail can make or break a race weekend, but he is also looking forward to the next race rather than backwards at what might have been. "It was a disastrous weekend basically, one that we are glad to put firmly behind us. We need to concentrate on the next round in Germany now. It's four weeks away and that will be the longest time that we'll have had with the car since we first took delivery, and that can only be a good thing as we try to get the best out of it."