Imola: Driver race quotes

1st in GT : Michael Bartels - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "The race might have looked perfect from the outside, but it's quite different if you're in the car. We knew it would be very hard and that the competition was going to be very...

1st in GT : Michael Bartels - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "The race might have looked perfect from the outside, but it's quite different if you're in the car. We knew it would be very hard and that the competition was going to be very strong. The qualifying result was not what we had expected. We decided to leave the tyres on for two stints. It wasn't easy, but it worked! Pirelli really did a great job. The tyres lasted 65 laps, and they were still in good condition after that. My teammate did an amazing job as well. He drove a great stint at the end and basically saved the race win for us. I'm also very happy that Mr. Saleen came from America to see this race - he brought us luck!"

1st in GT : Uwe Alzen - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "This was a very important race for me. It was very tough, and I was to thank not only Pirelli, but also Franz Konrad, Mr. Saleen and our guests from Vitaphone for the great work they've been doing. We were lucky here, but I hope for a repeat performance during the next races."

2nd in GT : Andrea Bertolini - nr 33 AF Corse Maserati MC12 : "It was a very special race for me. After nine months of developing the car this was the first time we drove a race. The team did a very good job. For us, it was an important test to see how the car would behave in a race situation and to collect information during the race."

2nd in GT: Mika Salo - nr 33 AF Corse Maserati MC12 : "We didn't have any problems at all this weekend. It didn't get all too hot inside of the car, it was actually quite nice in there. There was no way to beat the Saleen, though. They were incredibly quick. But now they'll have extra weight for Oschersleben. We'll see what happens there. In any case, we will try very hard to win."

3rd in GT: Fabrizio de Simone - nr 34 AF Corse Maserati MC12 : "Its a good result, I'm very happy to be on the GT podium for once! I'm not really experienced with the car yet. Pirelli did great work. The car was very consistent as well, and easy to drive. It was actually quite fresh inside."

3rd in GT: Johnny Herbert - nr 34 AF Corse Maserati MC12 : "My first race in this series! It was a very interesting experience. I tried my best to understand the car, and I think I learned a lot about it during the race. Now I can work with that."

4th in GT : Luca Cappellari - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "I'm very happy. We had 100 kilos ballast on board and it was very hard to race with that, particularly as the track is not an easy one either. We used hard tyres, as we were working for the Championship and wanted to score as much points as possible. Fabrizio and the whole team did a really fantastic job."

4th in GT : Fabrizio Gollin - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "With the high temperatures, it was a really tough race. I think the next round will be the fifth consecutive race we'll drive with 100 kilos. That might be our record! It was important for us to finish the race, because of the Drivers' championship - which I really want to win!"

5th in GT : Lilian Bryner - nr 3 Care Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello : "The heat was impossible, almost dangerous at times. We came through the field well after having had some problems with the set-up in qualifying yesterday. The car was much better today, easier to handle even with the 100kg. We are really happy with this third place as we wanted to finish the race without any risk because that's important for the Championship."

5th in GT : Enzo Calderari - nr 3 Care Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello : "I think we had a very good strategy today as we tried to stop only twice without making a splash. The tyres we had were perfect but with the 100 kilos balast it was very difficult to drive the car - and with the heat of course! I think we should thank Frederic Dor of Care Racing for providing us with three perfect cars that allow us to always finish races on the podium."

5th in GT : Stefano Livio - nr 3 Care Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello : "I'm very happy. I started in tenth position but I knew my potential and that I could improve our position in the race. After only a short time I had a very good feeling with the car and passed many cars in front of me."

6th in GT : Gabriele Gardel - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "We are really happy about the Championship as we have now won the title, which is really great for our team, who have done a good job. It was also good for us, as we finished fourth, but we had unbelievable troubles. I did my stint with old tyres, as usual, and I had misunderstandings with Cappellari. He seemed to brake early, but it was my mistake, I did not realise where his braking points were, and I went very wide. My tyres were really bad but I tried to go on, but then a tyre exploded. I was lucky to be able to get the car back to the pits. My biggest problem was that I could not breathe properly in the car; I do not know what the problem is. We finished fourth, and I think we are still OK for the second place in the Championship."

8th in GT : Gianni Morbidelli - nr 13 GPC Giesse Squadra Corse Ferrari 575 M Maranello : "In the beginning, Livio made a mistake and just pushed me out. Of course I lost a lot of time there. In the end, during the last pitstop we had a problem with the refuelling and lost even more time, so I'm very sorry because we could have been on the podium today. We had a good car, and we were going really well. We did really good lap times and it would have been good to have a better result at home in Italy."

14th in GT : Jean-Paul Driot - team owner, DAMS: "We are especially pleased to have one car that finished the race. Even if the development car ran in Valencia, the conditions today were totally different. We only received one car ten days before Imola, and the other car 24 hours before the event. We also had to make quite a few changes to the car according to the technical regulations. We lost a lot of time, we discovered problems, the whole team worked right through two nights. With the heat, the pressure of the race and all these problems, it was difficult to get a good set-up. But I knew it would be difficult this weekend. It is always the same with a car 'out of the box'. Now we have to analyse as much as possible to fix all we can before Oschersleben. I hope it will be cooler there, as one of our biggest problems is that we cannot open the lateral windows on the Lamborghini, so the only ventilation is a small intake on the roof we put in this weekend. We made steady progress through the weekend; in his last stint, Andrea Piccini was lapping the 4th fastest of the cars out there, which shows that the car has potential. But that is why we are doing the four last races, to iron out all these problems and to be up to speed in 2005 and win races."

DNF : Jamie Campbell-Walter - nr 27 Creation Autosportif Lister Storm : "We just made it across the line. We lost the driveshaft literally as the lights went green. I tried all the gears, just in case, but nothing happened. So it was a case of parking it and walking home. It was a shame but that's racing - and it's better than doing two and a half hours and then breaking down. Without that, I think we could have had a good result."

Provisional 1st in N-GT : Lucas Luhr - nr 99 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "We didn't have any problems in the race, but everybody knows that when you have such a big crash like we had on Friday, the team has a lot of work to do to get the car back on the track. Considering the circumstances, it was the perfect result. When we were in front, I tried my best to keep the distance to the Ferrari, but it didn't work. Nevertheless, I'm happy that we could finish second with a car that was as damaged as ours. I have to thank the team for the amazing work!"

Provisional 1st in N-GT : Sascha Maassen - nr 99 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "The team could put the car back together, but of course it's not like driving a new car. I agree with what Lucas [Luhr] said: the team did a great job. We already thought that the weekend would be over for us and planned our flights home. I think the result speaks for itself, but the glory belongs to the team, not to us."

Provisional 2nd in N-GT : Stéphane Ortelli - nr 50 Freisinger Yukos Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "Freisinger finished two, three and four, which I think is very good for the team. I was trying my best to catch Sascha. I was pushing a bit too hard, and I went off. Breaking downhill is a joke, really - it's so easy to make a mistake! We had to drive very conservatively. There was just no way to catch the 99, and my main priority was trying not to lose too many points in the championship."

Provisional 2nd in N-GT : Emmanuel Collard - nr 50 Freisinger Yukos Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "The first stint was very difficult for me. Unfortunately, I made a mistake. I locked the tyre, and it flat-spotted. But apart from that, we didn't have any major problems. But the car was really good."

Provisional 6th in N-GT : Antonio De Castro - nr 56 AB Motorsport Porsche : "I am very happy for the team ; we are a very small team, but we love racing. The car was perfect all weekend and I am delighted to finish in the points, as we are three gentlemen drivers. I hope to come back again next year."


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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Fabrizio Gollin , Franz Konrad , Mika Salo , Emmanuel Collard , Stéphane Ortelli , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Uwe Alzen , Michael Bartels , Jamie Campbell-Walter , Fabrizio de Simone , Frederic Dor , Andrea Bertolini , Gabriele Gardel , Enzo Calderari , Stefano Livio , Lilian Bryner , Luca Cappellari , Gianni Morbidelli
Teams AF Corse , DAMS