With only four points separating the top three teams in the GT1 category of the Le Mans Endurance Series, it is certain that one of the three Care Racing-supported teams will be crowned Champion in Turkey next weekend.
It will be the second consecutive year that a Ferrari 550 Maranello will take the title, and there is all to play for amongst the teams and their drivers. 2003 and 2004 FIA GT Champions, BMS Scuderia Italia, currently lead the Russian-backed Convers team by just one point and the Czech MenX team is only three points behind the British-managed outfit so the competition for victory will be fierce.
All three teams have additions to their driver line-ups for Istanbul, and the three 'new' faces are all highly experienced and will be sure to contribute to the tension and excitement of the title chase for the Drivers' Championship.
Fabio Babini of Faenza, a long-time Pirelli associate, will with Miguel Ramos of Portugual be helping 2004 Italian F3 Champion Matteo Cressoni try and realise his dream of winning the Drivers' Championship in only his first season in international sports car racing. Babini's experience of Istanbul from the FIA GT round in September will be vital. Cressoni currently heads the classification by just one point from Convers drivers Christophe Bouchut and Alexey Vasiliev who will be benefiting from the talents and experience of Briton Darren Turner in their bid for the top step of the podium.
Michele Bartyan, Christian Pescatori and Toni Seiler of BMS are one point adrift of the French/Russian partnership, while Robert Pergl of MenX is only three behind. The Czech driver, winner at Silverstone in August, has secured the much sought-after services of Pedro Lamy for the final round. The Portuguese driver will be joining Pergl and his Aston Martin team-mate, Peter Kox, in the line up and has already driven at the new Istanbul track in the FIA GT Larbre Ferrari 550, so should be on the pace straight away.
The Prodrive-developed, Care Racing-owned Ferrari 550 Maranello has been one of the most successful European GT1 cars in recent times, with 47 class wins and three international Championships in the last four years. It is a tribute to all who have been involved with the project that the car continues to win in almost every Championship in which it is entered, despite little development since 2003.