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Oschersleben: Scuderia Playteam qualifying report

Good race conditions are vital at Oschersleben Scuderia Playteam SaraFree was not disappointed on the German Oschersleben circuit tiday, Germany's third permanent race track, after Nurburgring and Hockenheimring. At the 5th round of the FIA GT...

Good race conditions are vital at Oschersleben

Scuderia Playteam SaraFree was not disappointed on the German Oschersleben circuit tiday, Germany's third permanent race track, after Nurburgring and Hockenheimring. At the 5th round of the FIA GT Championship, the Maserati MC12 finished 4th and 11th (Bertolini) and 12th (Pier Guidi).

The qualifying was disturbed by difficult changing weather and very strong winds. The overall performance today shows the improvement made by the team.

"Despite the conditions we managed to qualifying on the second row. It is an excellent result because we do not have a weight handicap for this race like Lamborghini or the Aston Martin ahead of us," explained Andrea Bertolini (Maserati MC12 n.11.)

Andrea Bertolini added, "During the qualifying I never had a clear lap and there was a lot of traffic. So the times do not reflect the potential of the car. Our 4th place result puts our car on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's race. It was important to be consistent with the lap times. We need to score points tomorrow and we are set for a podium finish. It will be a long race on a difficult track and we need to be very cautious. It will not be easy."

Alessandro Pier Guidi commented, 2The session was not easy and this was a closely fought qualifying session the outcome of which only allowed us to score the 11th position. I am a bit disappointed and we could have qualified better. I was looking for the best line and for a strategy that would allow the team to get a better result. I feel better thinking that it will be a long race and that we will not have a weight handicap like last race. We do need a good finish to bring some points home."

Details of the day:

In the first free practice Alessandro Pier Guidi and Giambattista Giannoccaro completed 31 laps to set the sixth fastest time overall with 1:27.060. Rain and strong winds disturbed the program of the day.

Giambattista Giannoccaro (Maserati MC12) explains: "I only completed very few laps. The track was very damp and the car was under-steering a lot and I could not correct it. At least I used the session to learn the track as I had never driven here before."

Alessandro Pier Guidi (Maserati MC12): "We used the morning session to complete a lot of work on the Pirelli tires. This will allow us to make the right choice for the race and to build the race strategy. In the second practice session, we finalised the set-up of the car and it was a good session despite the poor weather conditions. It is too early to reasonably predict how the race will turn out."

As for the pair in the MC12 n.11, Andrea Bertolin and Andrea Piccini Maserati MC12 nr 11, they completed 33 laps and scored the 2nd fastest time with 1:25.790.

Andrea Piccini (Maserati MC12): "At the start I did not complete a lot of laps. It was dangerous and slippery and we were cautious: We did not need to come off as the track was still wet from the night rains. I preferred giving the Maserati MC12 nr 11 to Andrea Bertolini. We needed to work on the tires. I drove the car in the second part of the morning."

Andrea Bertolini (Maserati MC12): "We tested different types of tires during this early morning session. We drove on the slick when it was possible and we also tested the intermediate tires. We had to establish a number of protocols to be ready later in the morning session."

In the second free practice session, the MC12 n.12 encountered a problem on the left wheel so engineers had to get back to the box to fix it. But we managed to get over the and Alessandro Pier Guidi and Giambattista Giannoccaro completed 26 laps clock, in with a twelfth fastest lap of 1.28.194

Alessandro Pier Guidi (Maserati MC12): "We lost a bit of useful time during the session to check the left wheel. But it was important. At least the qualifying session has helped us to confirm our choices and strategy for the race."

Giambattista Giannoccaro (Maserati MC12): "I am more confident now on the tarck. At least the problems that we encountered with the wheels were solved and we have managed to will not handicap us for the race tomorrow.?

In the  second practice session,  Andrea Bertolini and Andrea Piccini
completed  28 laps and clocked a best time
of   1.27.207, which gave them the  9th best lap

Andrea Piccini (Maserati MC12): " We must develop the car handling with fresh tyres The grip was not fantastic. In the afternoon we should have a good result for qualifying. We had enough time to study where we are. We need to leave with a good position on the grid to keep a good advantage at the start of the race."

Andrea Bertolini (Maserati MC12): "I did not drive a lot during the second session as I wanted that Andrea Piccini gets more experience on the track. We went through our work program in this session and we think we found the solution about the best strategy for tyres during the race. It is hard to know how things will develop later on during the day. Depends also on the weather conditions."

-credit: sps

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