Oschersleben: Post-race quotes

DRIVER QUOTES Michael Bartels - nr 1 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC 12 "After my past experience in Oschersleben, a track I like very much as you can see from my qualifying results, I am very happy with what we have achieved here. Last year, we...

DRIVER QUOTES

Michael Bartels - nr 1 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC 12
"After my past experience in Oschersleben, a track I like very much as you can see from my qualifying results, I am very happy with what we have achieved here. Last year, we won here with Fabio Babini and Thomas Biagi, and we were close to a double win. This year, finally, we got it ! I am happy that Andrea and I won, as I have had many tries in Oschersleben, but although I've led a lot, I've never won here. The team did an incredibly good job. We were very concentrated all week-end and didn't change our programme. We had some problems as we collected some stones and things on the tyres but Pirelli worked hard to clean them, and they deserve a big, big thank you, as they were one of the big factors for winning here. What can be better ? Blue skies, Germany in the semi-finals, a double win for Vitaphone in Oschersleben. I hope this will continue on Tuesday--"

Andrea Bertolini - nr 1 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC 12
"I must give a special thanks to Pirelli as I have won here with them in the Ferrari in 2003, then again in 2004 with the Maserati, and now again today. For sure, the team has put in unbelievable work today. Everyone has worked very hard in the team. Today, in the Vitaphone Team, it's like the semi-final between Italy and Germany, so I am waiting impatiently for the next match! "

Thomas Biagi - nr 2 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC 12
" First of all, many thanks to the team. Jamie did a very good start, with a lot of nice overtaking manoeuvres. For me this result is very important as we started with a big handicap, 14th position on the starting grid, on a circuit where it is not so easy to overtake. I care a lot about the race because it's my second "home" race, as Vitaphone is a German team. It's a fantastic result, and I want to thank Maserati and Pirelli who have done a lot of development work-- I would like to dedicate this result to Michael Bartels because he trusted in me and gave me the opportunity to drive for this strong team for the second year in a row, and to drive this fantastic Maserati !"

Jamie Davies - nr 2 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC 12
"Obviously, this is not the ideal circuit to overtake! My start was very good and I could get around some of the GT2 cars to get up with the tail of the GT1 cars. We had some fantastic dices with the Astons, and a great run through the first stint. I had an unfortunate contact with Karl Wendlinger, but the corner was clearly mine, he turned in coming into turn nine. It's unfortunate, but that's racing. For the first and last stint the car was very good, the car was running perfectly. I have to thank Pirelli as well as the tyres were fantastic, at the beginning and end of the stint."

Andrea Piccini - nr 5 Phoenix Racing Aston Martin DBR9
"I had a lot of problems in the end of the race. In the beginning the car was very good, the tyres were working very well even if I did a few too many laps in qualifying. I didn't find a clear lap, so I did around 8 laps so I was a bit worried about the tyres. But the Michelins worked well until the end. I had a good start and overtook Hezemans, and then caught up with the Saleen. It was a hard fight but I was able to overtake when I caught up with the backmarkers who helped me a bit. I could keep up the same pace as the Maserati. But when Jean-Denis gave the car back to me, the car already had some problems as the exhaust broke down and we had some electrical problems too. The car was difficult to drive, but I was able to catch up with Jamie and then I was pushing too much. I spun, rejoined and kept the gap around 3 or 4 seconds, but the car was slowing down more and more because of the engine problem. I think we all did a great job. We are lucky to have to have got to the end and to have scored a podium. It's good for the team and good for the championship."

Jean-Denis Deletraz - nr 5 Phoenix Racing Aston Martin DBR9
"My stint was not so bad, until the exhaust broke at the end of my stint and I started to have a lot of problems with the car. In this condition, we are all really happy to be on the podium, and once more to be the first Aston Martin and the first car on Michelin tyres. We hope that we will be even stronger for Spa, as the Aston Martin cars have a lot of experience in long-distance races, and we have a very fast driver with us, in Marcel Fassler.

Andrew Kirkaldy - nr 62 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2
"We are very happy. We had to start back on the grid which was not easy. As Jamie Davies said, it's not the easiest circuit to pass on. We had our work cut out for us, but managed to get up to third quite easily. Then it became more risky to try and pass for second, so we decided to play it safe and pit early, trying to get the track position. But it didn't work out so well as we went from following one AF Corse car to the other one. But in the end the car was exceptional. The team did a great job and the tyres were fantastic for the whole race. We hope this continues !"

Nathan Kinch - nr 62 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2
"I almost won here in 2003, but the car was excluded, so this victory makes up for it. It's fantastic to win, and good to get some points on the board. The team have worked really hard and the car was fantastic today. It's fantastic, and great going in to Spa."

Mika Salo - nr 59 AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT2
"It was quite hard, and we could not keep up with the tyres. The stints were a bit too long. We could not keep up with Scuderia Ecosse. But the biggest difference between us and Scuderia Ecosse is the penalty weight."

Rui Aguas - nr 59 AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT2
"I am happy with second place, and hope for first place in Spa !"

Tim Mullen - nr 63 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2
"I tried not to push too hard at the start, but then I began to push hard. Michelin did a very good job and I pulled out a 20 second lead. But unfortunately the clutch broke, which meant I had quite a few moments. For Chris it was very difficult, as he is not as experienced. But he did very well, and when I got back in the car I was on a mission. I set the fastest lap which was good. I was pushing hard and caught up with the Sugden car, but we were going side by side into the first corner. I tried to brake a bit too late, and I drove across the big blue kerb, which made me jump. I had a spin, but the difficulty in getting the car to start was due to having no clutch. Thankfully it did restart and I got back up to third and I'm very pleased with the podium."

Chris Niarchos - nr 63 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2
"This is my first FIA GT race, as I missed Brno and we had car problems in Silverstone. This is a great way to start a Championship ! It was very frustrating in the car, as we had no clutch, and I knew I was losing a couple of seconds a lap. I just tried to keep the car as safe as possible. My experience levels are much less than Tim's. With no clutch I didn't want to have any problems. I thought that if we could stay in the game, we had a chance of a podium, and it looks as if it has worked out perfectly."

Jarek Janis - nr 9 Zakspeed Racing Saleen S7-R
"It was going pretty well and I was one of the fastest out there during my stint. But then I had a brakes problem and then also a puncture. I had a big spin, and was very close to the barriers. But I managed to catch it and recovered. We're happy to finish fourth, which is 20 kg less, we have some points and we're still second in the Championship."

Christophe Bouchut - nr 13 Lamborghini Murcielago
"I really had quite a scare. The brakes failed totally and I thought I was going to hit the wall. But luckily the car turned slightly and I hit the barriers instead. I am quite shaken, but not hurt."

The next race is the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa, on July 27th - 30th. The test day takes place on July 5th, at Spa-Francorchamps.

-fia-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Karl Wendlinger , Mika Salo , Jamie Davies , Marcel Fassler , Michael Bartels , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Christophe Bouchut , Fabio Babini , Andrea Bertolini , Nathan Kinch , Chris Niarchos , Tim Mullen , Thomas Biagi , Andrew Kirkaldy , Rui Aguas , Jarek Janis
Teams AF Corse , Phoenix Racing , Team Zakspeed