Adria: Penultimate round preview

BACK TO ITALY FOR ROUND NINE For the final European race of 2006, the teams and drivers will head for their second new circuit of the season: the Adria Raceway, near Venice, in Italy. The new and modern track, with a revolutionary...

BACK TO ITALY FOR ROUND NINE

For the final European race of 2006, the teams and drivers will head for their second new circuit of the season: the Adria Raceway, near Venice, in Italy. The new and modern track, with a revolutionary indoor paddock, is relatively short for a GT race, but the tight and twisty circuit should provide an excellent backdrop for the penultimate race of the season. With plenty of overtaking, and qualifying vital for a good start, it should be a very interesting race.

Of course, a lot is still at stake in the 2006 season. Although the Teams titles were decided in Hungary, where Italian team AF Corse secured the first GT2 title for Ferrari since JMB was victorious in 2001, and Vitaphone Racing Team, from Germany, crowned an exceptional season by retaining the title they won last season. But the Drivers titles are as yet undecided, and could still go on until the final race in Dubai.

In GT1, the Hungaroring closed up the points even further. The drivers of the nr 1 Maserati MC 12, Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini, have a nine-point lead over their three nearest rivals: Zakspeed Racing's Sascha Bert and the Phoenix Racing duo of Andrea Piccini and Jean-Denis Deletraz. But one thing is certain: the 2006 Champion will be racing for a German team!

In GT2, the situation is slightly clearer. Two of AF Corse's drivers will claim the title. At the moment, the favourites are 2003 Champion Matteo Bobbi, of Italy, and his Brazilian team-mate Jaime Melo - who set an unusual record in 2004 when he won races in both GT1 and GT2. But although their rivals, Mika Salo of Finland and Rui Aguas of Portugal, are currently 12 points behind, there are still 20 points on the table... For Adria, the usual field will be joined by Italo-Luxembourg team Edel Cris Racing, with a Ferrari 430 GT2.

Like the other new circuit this year, Paul Ricard HTTT, Adria will be a two-day meeting, with free practice and qualifying on the Saturday, while the warm-up and race will take place on the Sunday. Support events will include the Mitsubishi Race - Formula Adria, the Kia Rio Challenge and the Renault Clio Cup Germany.

WHAT THE DRIVERS THINK

"Adria is rather twisty and small for GT racing, but I hope it will bring a lot of public to the race, and eventually a lot of action during the race. For sure, it's nice to have two races in Italy." Andrea Piccini, nr 5 Phoenix Motorsport Aston Martin DBR9

"It's a very small track and quite slow. It will be very difficult to get a clear lap in qualifying and during the race, the GT1 cars will start lapping the GT2 very fast. This will definitely influence the result of the race." Anthony Kumpen, GLPK Carsport Corvette C6

A LAP OF ADRIA WITH ANDREA PICCINI

Andrea Piccini and Jean-Denis Deletraz are currently in joint second position in the GT1 Drivers' Championship. Their Phoenix Racing Aston Martin DBR9 has been a consistent points-scorer, and for Adria, their penalty weight will be down to 20 kg -- very useful for the tight circuit.

Andrea Piccini takes us around the Adria circuit:

"Corners one and two are taking in second gear; both are tight in the entrance and get wider in the exit. Braking for corner two is difficult, because you brake turning a little bit to the right and it's very easy to lock up.

Corner three is the slowest of the circuit: a 180 corner, taken in first gear. Another short straight and we reach the chicane where you have to use the kerbs a lot, especially on the right side. It's a strange chicane because the second corner, the left one, is very long and if you go into the right a little bit to fast, it's very difficult to accelerate for the left.

Right after the chicane we have the fastest corner of the circuit, a third gear left-handed turn.

After a very short straight, there is another braking section in a bend, just like for corner two. This time, we are going into a second-gear double left corner, that you need to do take as if it was just one corner. There are a lot of different lines for this corner.

We now arrive at the last corner, a 2nd gear right-hand turn, a bit wider in the entrance, closing after the middle of the corner, which puts you into the main straight."

ADRIA -A MODERN FACILITY

Built in 2002 Adria International Raceway is the core of a big avant-garde multiutility center, projected by a group of entrepreneurs in love with motorsport. The circuit is located near the Po Delta nature park, between Venice and Rovigo. A very modern speedway, as recognized by the FIA, which homologated the track for Formula One tests, and which will now host a round of the FIA GT Championship.

The circuit has very high safety standards and infrastructures with no equal, such as the paddock, which is completely covered and air-conditioned. The list of services includes a three-floor building which contains a comfortable hotel, a restaurant, briefing and meeting areas, a modern press room organized to receive journalists and photographers with all facilities.

The complex supports a very technical speedway, built thanks to the competence of experienced people who love motorsport The circuit is almost three kilometres long, alternating fast straights and interesting corners, an option aimed at encouraging overtaking, in order to offer exciting races to the people. The Racetrack can be divided in two shorter and independent tracks, equipped with an artificial dampening system useful for driving school and tests.

-credit: fia

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Mika Salo , Michael Bartels , Matteo Bobbi , Jaime Melo , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Anthony Kumpen , Andrea Bertolini , Sascha Bert , Rui Aguas
Teams AF Corse , Phoenix Racing , Team Zakspeed