FIA GT Championship
Round 11 - Zhuhai
1st in GT : Mika Salo - nr 33 AF Corse Maserati MC12: "It was a good race from the start. I thought we had made a good start, but then two cars overtook us on each side. We could not keep up with those guys as they were very fast in the beginning. On this track, you really get problems with the brakes and the tyres. We worked on a double stint strategy for the tyres, which had a very good grip. We would like to thank Pirelli for their work. We did not have any problems with the car at all and we have a good team to support us. For next year, we will test a lot during the winter in order to make the car faster and more reliable".
1st in GT: Andrea Bertolini - nr 33 AF Corse Maserati MC 12 : "I had a spin in the middle of my second stint when overtaking a Saleen. He closed the door. I was lucky as the car was not damaged. I would like to thank Pirelli for their incredible work, as well as our team. It is the fourth race we do with the Maserati in this Championship and the first time we have scored points. Now, we have to work for the next season".
2nd in GT: Fabrizio de Simone - nr 34 AF Corse Maserati MC 12: "It was a close finish. Johnny and I made a good job together. The Pirelli tyres were incredibly consistent on double stints. All the team has worked so well, it was a fantastic package all together. We just had a little misfire during Johnny's stint, which lost us a few seconds. It was our third race with the same engine. Luckily the engine quickly started working properly again. "
2nd in GT: Johnny Herbert - nr 34 AF Corse Maserati MC 12: "It's been a lot of fun. It's been great driving for Maserati and with Fabrizio. The team generally worked very quickly. There were quite a lot of guys in the team who did not have a lot of experience in racing. They had to gear up very quickly and racing is the only way you can ever get there. I was leading and after 10-15 laps into my stint, I started having a misfire and I slowed down. Gradually, it started coming back again . It was a shame we had that problem but that's racing. As a team, we did a very good job. It is thanks to Maserati that we have been able to achieve this 1-2 here."
3rd in GT : Matteo Bobbi - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello: "The problem today was not the speed of the Maserati cars but our brakes. We could not push like at the start of the race as our brakes were worn out. We also lost about 20 seconds in the second pit stop when we had to put water in the engine. Without this, maybe we could have finished ahead of the Maserati cars. In the first hour, we were leading the race with more than 10 seconds. The car was very good and Michelin did an excellent job as we were able to do double stints on the same tyres. I was driving for one hour and a half at the end. I would like to thank Michelin, Prodrive and also Gabriele".
3rd in GT: Gabriele Gardel - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello: "For everybody, it was a difficult race but less than in Dubai. Care Racing finished 3rd in the Championship, so today is a very good day for our team as the drivers managed to finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Championship."
1st in N-GT : Christian Pescatori - GPC Giesse Ferrari 360 Modena: "I am very happy to win the last race of the season. It is very important for my team and for Pirelli, the mechanics and engineers. This season has been very particular for my team because we started at the last moment. In one race, we would be fast and at the next, we would have a problem. I hope to continue in this category and in this car next season because it is very fast and we have a lot of experience with it."
1st in N-GT : Jaime Melo - GPC Giesse Ferrari 360 Modena: "I am very happy to finish the championship with a win. I would like to congratulate Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr for their title. I would like to thank GPC Giesse, Christian Pescatori and Pirelli. They have all done a very good job. It was a weekend where everything worked out very well".
2nd in N-GT : Lucas Luhr - Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3 RS: "This morning, when I woke up, I had this feeling that me and Sascha would be the champions at the end of the day. When the race started, the first laps were not so good. But we finished after all. We have won six races this year. I think we have had the fastest car and we deserved to win this title. I did the middle stint and I flat-spotted my tyre coming out of the pits. Then I heard on the radio that Ortelli had problems and then later, I saw him in the gravel trap. I was imagining hearing things in the car all the time. I am glad that the race is over. Sascha and I have been driving together for four years and it is our third title together and I think that this is a pretty good result".
2nd in N-GT : Sascha Maassen - Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3 RS: "In the second lap, I had to slow down because of an accident on the track. Collard overtook me and I had to let him go. But when Lucas gets his feelings, there is always something true in it and therefore, I am happy he had this feeling! It has been a tough year. The other cars are very quick. We had to chase them throughout the year. I am happy that our strategy worked out very well. I would like to adress a special thank to Manfred Freisinger as in Imola, I crashed the car. Manfred took the decision to rebuild the car and we won the race. Without that, we would not have won the title today. Many thanks to him for that !"
3rd in N-GT : Miro Konopka - Vonka Racing Porsche 996 GT3 RS: "The third position in this race is the best position in our career. The car is not so quick but we had no problems and we had to play it on our strategy, which has worked."
3rd in N-GT: Jan Vonka - Vonka Racing Porsche 996 GT3 RS: "I am very happy for this third position. And with one pit stop only, it was very hot in the car. I would like to thank the team, my family and China".
6th in N-GT: Marc Lieb - Gruppe M Porsche 996 GT3 RS: "Everything was fine. We knew that we could not fight with the three cars at the front but we were doing our own race. There was no one fighting at the front or at the back. Tim went into the gravel but we were still running third. But then I could tell something was wrong. It got worse and worse and finally the driveshaft broke. That was it. It is a great shame for the team as it would have been nice to finish the season with a podium. But that's motor racing":
7th in GT: Chris Goodwin - RML Saleen S7: "It was ok. Ye made steady progress throughout the weekend. It was hard for Michael because he did not get any running yesterday. But he kept the car on the track. By the end of the race, the engine was really really hot and we slipped to 7th. It's a shame as if had we qualified better, we would have had a better chance of a good result".
5th in GT: Karl Wendlinger - JMB Racing Ferrari 575: It was a difficult race and I don't think it was possible to get a better result. I had a very good last stint. The car was not in pace, but not far froe it. I have really enjoyed the season and I hope to be back next year."
4th in N-GT: Matthew Marsh: - GPC Giesse Ferrari 360 Modena: "Charles and I have had an enormous amount of fun, being in a great car with a brilliant team. Being in a team with the likes of Gianni Morbidelli and the other guys for a weekend was wonderful. To finish in the points is a bonus - we feel as if we are now part of the FIA GT Championship, and we'd love to do more races."