Oschersleben: Michelin race report

Jetalliance's allied forces The Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin/Michelins secured a one-two finish at this weekend's Oschersleben encounter in Germany. Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp took the spoils ahead of Muller/Lichtner-Hoyer,...

Jetalliance's allied forces

The Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin/Michelins secured a one-two finish at this weekend's Oschersleben encounter in Germany. Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp took the spoils ahead of Muller/Lichtner-Hoyer, while Jean-Denis Deletraz and Marcel Fassler (Corvette C6.R/Michelin) joined them on the podium to follow up their third-place at Adria two weeks ago.

After seeing its two Aston Martins sidelined at Adria (Italy) at the end of June, the Austria-based Jetalliance Racing team responded last weekend to claim its first one-two finish.

Racing on soft compound Michelin tyres, the No.33 car profited from Karl Wendlinger's pole position to score its second victory of the year following its earlier success at Silverstone. Ryan Sharp dominated the early part of the race up to the first round of refuelling stops, but the Maserati MC12/Michelin of Bartels/Bertolini emerged in front on Lap 60 when the safety car was sent out. However, unlike its main rivals, it had yet to make its second stop.

It was perhaps this strategy that deprived Vitaphone Racing of its fourth win at Oschersleben which would have been its first win of the 2008 campaign. Despite its frustration, the German team continues to top the provisional GT1 Teams' Championship standings with a four-point advantage over Phoenix Racing which saw one of its Corvette/Michelins finish on the podium, while its second car came sixth after visiting a gravel trap.

"Practically all our partners opted for the soft compound," reports Gerard Bombled, the manager of Michelin's Endurance and FIA GT programmes. "Despite track temperatures in excess of 35o.C, our tyres were both competitive and consistent. Only the SRT Corvette chose to switch to a medium compound after its first stint. In the GT2 category, the winning Ferrari contested the entire race on soft tyres after using medium compound rubber here last year. In fact, this car could have gone the full distance on the same set of tyres! It was a good weekend for Michelin which monopolised both the GT1 and GT2 podiums."

The Ferrari/Michelin of Bruni/Vilander collected its third win of the season despite carrying 85kg of ballast, enabling AF Corse to celebrate its second consecutive one-two finish. Like the No.1 Maserati, the Porsche/Michelin of Collard/Westbrook was penalised by the appearance of the safety car.

The fifth round of the season will take competitors to the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps for a 24- hour race which is frequently decisive in deciding the final outcome at the end of the year.

Next round: Spa-Francorchamps (August 3-4)

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Marcel Fassler , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Ryan Sharp
Teams AF Corse , Phoenix Racing