Monza: Playteam Sarafree qualifying report

Scuderia Playteam Sarafree qualifies both cars in top ten at Monza DIARY - Monza - 4th round of the FIA GT Championship Circuit: Monza Weather: sun all sessions in including qualifying, dry@track Maserati MC12 nr 12, Giannoccaro/Pier Guidi -...

Scuderia Playteam Sarafree qualifies both cars in top ten at Monza

DIARY - Monza - 4th round of the FIA GT Championship

Circuit: Monza
Weather: sun all sessions in including qualifying, dry@track

Maserati MC12 nr 12, Giannoccaro/Pier Guidi
- Free practice 1: 1.47.007 (30 laps) - 8th
- Free practice 2: 1.46.699 (21 laps) - 7th
- Qualifying: 1.45.509 ? 5 laps - 4th

Maserati MC12 nr 11, 11 GT1 Bertolini/Piccini
- Free practice 1: 1.47.664 (34 laps) - 10th
- Free practice 2: 1.47.381 (23 laps) - 10th
- Qualifying : 1.45.775 ( 6 laps) - 9th

The weather could not have been better at Monza as drivers stepped into their cars with warm temperatures in the two free practice sessions and qualifying.

The Playteam SaraFree drivers were confident that they had good pace and led the field from early on.

The qualifying was very close. Scuderia Playteam Sarafree secured fourth and ninth place. Alessandro Pier Guidi (12) and Andrea Piccini (11) drove during the session.

Alessandro Pier Guidi (Maserati MC12) commented, "We have qualified on the second row for the home race here in Monza. We are not far from the front row, only 0.564s. It was a very close session. There was a lot of traffic and the track was not so clean. It is a good result knowing that the race is long and the track is difficult. It is important to know that you can trust your car, especially here where you can lose a lot in a short time. The team and Maserati have done an excellent job and we worked well with the Pirelli tyres with no apparent problems ahead of us!"

Andrea Piccini (Maserati MC12) commented: "It was a tough practice session. The car feels good around here and we could have been much higher if it wasn't for our weight penalty. To have that penalty and still be in the top ten is not as easy as it looked. The Pirelli tyres are very strong. We worked on the harder tyres this morning and the softer type of tyres this afternoon for qualifying. I hope that tomorrow will be a good day and the occasion to continue scoring points for the team. The race will be interesting with so much competition."

Details of the day In the first free practice - Alessandro Pier Guidi and Giambattista Giannoccaro completed 30 laps to set the 8th fastest time overall with a time of 1.47.007.

Giambattista Giannoccaro (Maserati MC12): "Nothing to say on this track where everything is so important for our team. I drove about 8 laps to check the car in the first practice and the car really felt good. It is very important because this circuit is always very hard on the cars and engines."

Alessandro Pier Guidi (Maserati MC12): "This morning, I felt comfortable right away. We completed a few long runs to check the systems in the car. The first impression I had of the circuit is quite positive and the tyres work well."

In the first free practice, Andrea Bertolini and Andrea Piccini completed at total of 34 laps with a fifth best time of 1.47.664 also using Pirelli tyres.

Andrea Piccini (Maserati MC12): "This morning was definitely a good session. The Maseratti on the track does not look bad. I completed 15 long runs to try the tyres. We still have a bit of work ahead of us to get everything under control and to get the car exactly perfect."

Andrea Bertolini (Maserati MC12): "A bit early to say too much. The car is showing a good balance and despite our weight handicap, we have to find a good pace to get the car quick. My first impression after the first eight full laps is very favorable."

In the second free practice, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Giambattista Giannoccaro finished in 7th position in 1.46.699 and completed a total of 21 laps at the wheel of the Playteam Sarafree Maserati MC12 with the Pirelli tyres.

Alessandro Pier Guidi (Maserati MC12): "We worked during the second practie session with the used tyres from the morning. Now the most difficult thing will be to finalise the right choice of tyres for qualifying. We only need to make a few fine tuning changes as the car is well tuned and handling really nicely The set-up is very important and we cannot risk any mistakes especially in the Variante Ascari which one of the most difficult corners."

Giambattista Giannoccaro (Maserati MC12): "We finished the session on this track with times that were good although it is not easy for us to master all parameters. But we feel ready for the qualifying challenge this afternoon."

In the second free practice, Andrea Bertolini and Andrea Piccini completed a total of 23 laps with a best time of 1.47.381 and finished in the top ten.

Andrea Bertolini (Maserati MC12): "This second session was another serious working session. We need consistency because we really suffer from the 40kg penalty. With the heat we need to be cautious with the brakes as well. No mistakes allowed. For now, we are pleased with the results."

Andrea Piccini (Maserati MC12): "We worked on the Pirelli tyres. The car needs to come to perfection. The temperatures were a bit hot during this second session. But we hope to have worked towards a good set-up for the qualifying session later and the race tomorrow."

-credit: playteam

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Series Blancpain Sprint