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Maserati will be playing its winning hand for success at Spa's 24 Hours

The FIA GT Championship is getting ready to experience the most important race of the season this weekend: Spa's 24 Hours.

Belgium's classic endurance race, won by the MC12 on three occasions in 2005, 2006 and 2008, is a decisive race to guarantee a chance at winning the championship. Whoever wins at Spa usually also wins the championship. Current ranking has Vitaphone Racing Team's reigning champions Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini (with MC12 number 1) in top place.

As mentioned earlier, at Spa's 24 Hours Maserati has an enviable "curriculum" made up of two double wins (2005 and 2008), one top place (2006) and one second place (2007). At last year's race, three Maseratis ended up in the first four places.

Currently also in the top rank in the Teams' classification, Vitaphone Racing Team will unleash its three MC12s to try to continue the winning tradition.

Bartels/Bertolini/Sarrazin/Negraõ will take their turns at driving MC12 no. 1, while Ramos/Müller/Van De Poele/Lamy will each get behind the wheel of car no. 2.

The third MC12, sporting the Vitaphone Racing Team DHL colors in Belgium, shall be at the hand of Pier Guidi/Lemeret/Vosse/Rosenblad.

The reigning champs will be backed by Stephane Sarrazin, who shared their victory during the 2008 Spa race, as well as by Alexander Negraõ, a Brazilian driver who raced last year in the championship paired up with Miguel Ramos. The latter, together with Alex Müller, will be able to count on the talent of Pedro Lamy, once again at the wheel of an MC12, and on the experience of the home driver who has won more races at Spa than anyone else: Eric Van De Poele, winner of five 24 Hours.

It will also mean a return at the wheel of an MC12 for Alessandro Pier Guidi; indeed, that's what he was driving when he got second place last year. His teammates will be Belgian drivers Stephane Lemeret and Vincent Vosse, also habitués at the home race and used to driving the German team' MC12. The other member of the team is Swedish driver Carl Rosenblad, making his debut with the Maserati, but with a solid international driving background.

The Belgian weekend will have an early start: it will begin on Thursday, when the free practices and the qualifying practices will take place, two of which at night. The race itself, as usual, will start on Saturday afternoon at 4 and will end 24 hours later.


Car N.1 - Bartels/Bertolini/Sarrazin/Negraõ, Vitaphone Racing Team
Car N.2 - Ramos/Müller/Van De Poele/Lamy,  Vitaphone Racing Team
Car N.33 - Pier Guidi/Lemeret/Vosse/Rosenblad, Vitaphone Racing Team DHL