FIA GT1 – Paul Ricard Championship Race : Maserati’s First Win of the Season

The quest for masterpiece in the eyes of a photographer is a never ending journey. I quote Michael S. Gazzaniga, “what people find beautiful is not arbitrary or random but has evolved over millions of years of hominid sensory, perceptual, and cognitive development”. Photography is a documentation of people and events. While we may not control what at work at Paul Ricard last weekend, we share the same passion as any aspiring photographer out there. To bring forth what happen as accurately in a visual context.

Few days ago, reigning FIA GT Champions Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini scored their first Championship Race win at Paul Ricard. Their first FIA GT1 World Championship victory in the Maserati MC12 and the win propel them into the Championship lead ahead of Matech Competition Ford GT.

Car 22 Sumo Power Nissan GT-R blast up the inside of the Maserati of Andrea Bertolini/Michael Bartels in pole position to take second place in the first corner.

But, in the same way that car 23 started to lose places in yesterday’s race one due to worn tyres, Hughes found he was unable to keep the chasing pack at bay and had to yield to the Masterati at the end of the first lap.

As soon as it passed the Lambo and Nissan, Maserati powered ahead of the competition and never looked back. After the pitstops Michael Bartels held a large lead over the rest of the field.

The nr23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R of Peter Dumbreck was clearly the fastest car on track and was soon in second place ahead of the nr33 Triple H Team Hegersport Maserati MC12.

Race officials deemed Hughes’ start-line overtaking manoeuvre to have exceeded track limits when using some of the blue line at the side of the track. The subsequent pit-lane drive-through after lap four meant that Hughes re-joined the race in 22nd place, putting he and Campbell-Walter in a situation that looked irretrievable.

In the end, Maserati was perfect again. The pit was really quick. They did it in 26 seconds. A key one for the championship. First win of the season after strong performance in all the races so far.

The last couple of laps were very hard for Nr33 Triple H Team Hegersport Maserati MC12. Like the others, they had problems with the tyres, had a lot of oversteering. The nr40 Ford was coming closer and closer, gaining 4 tenths a lap. Alexander Margaritis managed to keep his head down, switch the rearview mirror off. For him, the last lap was without doubt a long one.

36 years old Andrea Bertolini is happy to be on the top step of the podium and leading the championship by 15 points.

The end. Hopefully these images from Paul Ricard will evoke your cognitive, sensory and perceptual part of your brain. Next up is a drift battle in the neighboring state of Malacca in a few days time. God wiling, we will definitely be there.

Race Result

1 1 GT1 Bertolini / Bartels Maserati MC12
2 23 GT1 Krumm / Dumbreck Nissan GT – R
3 33 GT1 Heger / Margaritis Maserati MC12
4 40 GT1 Leinders / Martin Ford GT
5 13 GT1 Piccini / Hennerici Corvette Z06
6 11 GT1 Hezemans / Maassen Corvette Z06
7 5 GT1 Grosjean / Mutsch Ford GT Matech
8 22 GT1 Hughes / Campbell-Walter Nissan GT – R
9 9 GT1 Makowiecki / Accary Aston Martin DB9
10 25 GT1 Zonta / Daniel Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S
11 34 GT1 Bobbi / Longin Maserati MC12
12 38 GT1 Schwager / Pastorelli Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S
13 10 GT1 Hirschi / Piccione Aston Martin DB9
14 41 GT1 Kuppens / Palttala Ford GT
15 3 GT1 Wendlinger / Moser Nissan GT – R
16 7 GT1 Turner / Enge Aston Martin DB9
17 37 GT1 Bouchut / Basseng Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S
18 24 GT1 Kox / Haase Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S
19 12 GT1 Gavin / Kuismanen Corvette Z06
20 8 GT1 Nygaard / Mücke Aston Martin DB9 1
21 6 GT1 Panis / Gachnang Ford GT Matech
22 2 GT1 Bernoldi / Ramos Maserati MC12
23 4 GT1 Ara / Nilsson Nissan GT – R

Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria

Image / Info : FIA GT1, Sumo Nissan GT-R

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