2006 FIA-GT Championship Starts This Weekend - Tire Review Magazine

2006 FIA-GT Championship Starts This Weekend

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) The International FIA-GT Championship will take the green flag this weekend.

The series begins at the historic Silverstone circuit after the first event scheduled in Bucharest was postponed to the autumn. Pirelli Competizioni will be at the British track, aiming for top performance and significant results.

According to the Italian manufacturer, some of the most competitive cars in the series will be on Pirelli P Zero Racing tyres. In the GT1 class, Pirelli’s colours will be defended by the BMS-Scuderia Italia Aston Martin DBR9s of Babini-Gollin and Pescatori-Ramos and by the Maserati MC12s of the Vitaphone team, driven by Davies-Biagi and Bertolini-Bartels.

In the GT2 class, Pirelli P Zero Racing tyres will be fitted to the AF Corse Ferraris, campaigned by Bobbi-Salo and Melo-Aguas, as they will to the most formidable Porsches in the entry list: the two 996 GT3-RSRs of Riccitelli-Collard and Busnelli-Moccia, which Team Ebimotors will run in the season’s events with the support of the Stuttgart manufacturer.

The Ferrari-Porsche challenge could be made even more tantalizing by the presence of the Pirelli-shod Panoz Esperante of Team LTN, which could be a significant outsider in the FIA-GT series, as it was on 9 April in the 1000 km of Istanbul. In Turkey, the drivers of the American car immediately ended up on the podium, achieving a finish that reinforced the positive results obtained in March at the 12 hours of Sebring, in which the Panoz-Pirelli won the GT2 class.

British engineer Jamie Davies, one of Pirelli’s top drivers in GT competition, will be at the start of the 2006 FIA-GT season with a Vitaphone’s Maserati MC12. “I am convinced we can do well at Silverstone. The work by Pirelli Competizioni’s technicians to develop P Zero Racings for the MC12s enables me to be optimistic, even if some of the opposition showed itself to be decidedly competitive at the Dijon test session in mid-April,” commented Davies.

Pierluigi De Cancellis, Circuit Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, said: “In 2005, the GT2 class really was the poor step sister of the top category, with very few entries and a real monopoly held by a single team. But this year, the quality and number of competitive entries are extremely high, which means we can hope for a forthcoming season that should be a winner at all levels. Pirelli is ready to support the many teams competing on its tyres in the best possible way.”

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