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Brno: Scuderia Playteam race report

Weather: Warm-up and race - dry, and very sunny with cool temperatures - Maserati MC12 nr 11, Andrea Bertolini (Ita) - Andrea Piccini (Ita) - 4th - Maserati MC12 nr 12, Giambattista Giannoccaro(Ita)-Alessandro Pier Guidi(Ita) -...

Weather: Warm-up and race - dry, and very sunny with cool temperatures

- Maserati MC12 nr 11, Andrea Bertolini (Ita) - Andrea Piccini (Ita) - 4th

- Maserati MC12 nr 12, Giambattista Giannoccaro(Ita)-Alessandro Pier Guidi(Ita) - 5th

Scuderia Playteam Sarafree headed for the eighth round of the season at Brno after a strong race on home grounds in Adria. They finished at Brno respectively fourth for Maserati nr 11 from Andrea Bertolini-Andrea Piccini , and fifth for Giambattista Giannoccaro and Alessandro Pier Guidi. An outstanding performance with Two cars in the finish for the team after a long race with drivers haunted by the necessity to nurse the tires on a difficult and technical track. This is a result that relaunches the championship with Bertolini-Piccini now joint-leaders in the championship with 47 points. It was a long and tough race that was exciting at every moment keeping the spectators guessing the positions in the race until the last instant. Andrea Bertolini finished in fourth while Alessandro Pier Guidi clocked fifth place, placing both cars in the points. Two cars in the finish: a great result for Scuderia Playteam Sarafree whose drivers are now joint-leaders in the championship with 47 points

At the start of the two hour-long race, the two Maserati MC12s ranked side by side on the grid, Andrea Bertolini starting from 6th (nr 11), and Alessandro Pier Guidi starting from 7th (nr 12).

On the seventh lap, the positions were unchanged and they were respectively running 6.034 and 6.979 behind the fastest Aston Martin of Karl Wendlinger.

The overall positions did not change until refuelling time. Alessandro Pier Guidi came in for a driver switch and refuelling on lap 14, roughly 30 minutes after the start of the race.

The car restarted and rejoined the race in 13th position with a pace of 1.58.675 Meanwhile the Maserati from Bartels and Mike Hezemans's Corvette touched, went off track, and lost a bit of time getting out of the gravel bed, This brought Andrea Bertolini to second place cruising with a pace of 1.58.513 - 4.108 behind the Maserati MC12 of Christian Montanari.

After his restart, Michael Bartels found himself lapping behind Giambattista Giannoccaro but passed him on lap 18. Andrea Piccini took over from Andrea Bertolini on lap 21 and rejoined in 7th place with 5 drivers who had not yet made their pit stop. The two Astons stopped and Andrea Piccini moved back up to fifth and then later to third while Giambattista Giannoccaro was ranking 7th.

Andrea Piccini dropped one position as the Maserati from Ramos was leading the Aston Martin nr 33 with Jos Menten's Lamborghini in third. Giambattista Giannoccaro came back to the pits for a second stop on lap 32 and Pier Guidi took over the driving duties. On lap 35, the positions remained unchanged until Sharp and Wendlinger pitted and Andrea Piccini came back to third while Pier Guidi was cruising at 10th. On lap 40 Menten's Lamborghini stopped and Peter Cox took over for his second stop and Andrea Piccini took second place behind Miguel Ramos, the leader on the other Maserati.

Andrea Bertolini stopped and took over for the second pit stop on lap 44 and rejoined behind Karl Wendlinger. Ramos gave his car to Montanari on the following lap. The Corvette From Longin-Kumpen was the next to stop. After Bouchut's stop all cars in the lead had refuelled for the second time.

Andrea Bertolini finished in fourth while Alessandro Pier Guidi clocked the fifht place, both cars in the points.

Andrea Piccini : "This fourth place is an excellent result as our handicap was so heavy here on the Brno track. For a good result in the race, we had to choose hard tires to make long stints. That did not leave us a lot of freedom so we had to be very careful with the tires and very attentive to the strategy. At the end, we finished as high as we wanted which is fantastic since the result reopens the championship. I do not know Nogaro yet, but it looks like it suits our cars.

Andrea Bertolini: This was a fantastic race. We are now joint-leaders in the championship with 47 points. It is great to see five cars so close in the Championship because the fight for the drivers' championship is reopened. The start was good and worked well. The car has been consistent throughout the race. It was really not easy to drive here with so much ballast.

Giambattista Giannocaro-Alessandro Pier Guidi finished in fifth position: Giambattista Giannoccaro comments: we employed an excellent strategy that worked well at the end but was kind of a nightmare to implement for us. We had to administer the race correctly. There was no room for mistakes nor last minute manoeuvrers. I did the second stint with the same tires. It was very difficult. But it feels just perfect now that we are in the lead of the Championship again.

Alessandro Pier Guidi: I am happy to finish in fifth. The first lap went well and right away the car was well balanced. There was not too much traffic and as the track is wide, it is easy to pass here. We had to pay attention to the tires so that they kept their grip. I ddid the fastest laps in the last part. It was a really good race and I did a good job even if it was really hard work during the entire race. .

There are two more rounds in the 2007 Championship and the next race will be in Nogaro on 30-09-2007 and Zolder 21-10-2007

-credit: playteam.com

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