Red is the winning colour as Ferrari wins the GT Festival
David Brabham and Allan Simonsen drove the Coopers Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello to a historic race win at the Bahrain International Circuit GT Festival of Speed. The red Ferrari with a kangaroo on the bonnet led the race from start to finish completing the 26 laps in one hour, three minutes and 68 seconds, with an average speed of 162.331 kilometres per hour.
Behind the Australian team came Larbre Competition's Chrysler Viper GTS driven by Frederick Makowiecki and Frederic Dedours, who just grabbed second place from Francois Fiat and Dominique Dupuy in their Saleen S7, after the DDO car suffered a broken differential after experiencing oil and water problems throughout the day. The winning Ferrari 550 Maranello had no such problems as it purred around the Barhain International Circuit with great authority and poise. The circuit was praised by all drivers as a "fantastic facility and a fantastic race track," as Brabham put it.
"This is a very impressive set-up and it was a pleasure to drive around this circuit. We had a couple of yellow flags, due to earlier accidents, and that favoured us as we might had run out of fuel before the end of the race."
His co-driver Allan Simonsen was very excited about being on Bahrain's F1 circuit after driving most of the season in Australia. "We drove an intelligent race and it was such a pleasure to win on a prestigious circuit."
The drivers of the third-placed Saleen S7 were very happy to have been in the top two or three positions all during the weekend's racing in a car which neither driver was very familiar with.
"We had a bit of tired engine, so we were happy to hang to the third place," said Dupuy. "So although we are disappointed not to have finished second, we are also aware that we might have slipped further back because of our engine difficulties."
Teams and drivers agreed the GT Festival was a great success. The facilities, organisation and the circuit layout were up to the high standards expected of the leading circuit in the Middle Eastern region.
Martin Whitaker, General Manager of the Bahrain International Circuit was very pleased with the GT Festival: "It was an outstanding event, with top teams from all over the world competing here in Bahrain. This has been a celebration of racing. Teams and drivers have had a fantastic time and we have very much enjoyed having them here and we are looking forward to seeing them again in the future. Once again, like for the F1 race, I believe everybody has left impressed with the friendliness and hospitality of the people of Bahrain."