KplusK Saleen wins FIA GT opener
Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp won the Tourist Trophy for a second consecutive season at Silverstone today.
The Austrian and the Scot easily had the fastest car in the form of the KplusK Motorsport Saleen S7R, but ended up having to work hard for their victory in the opening FIA GT Championship round.
Quicker pitstops by the Vitaphone Maserati squad and a mid-race safety-car period that fell kindly for the German team meant that Wendlinger had to come from behind in the closing stages to seal the win.
Wendlinger emerged from the final round of pitstops on the heels of Andrea Bertolini's Maserati MC12. The former FIA GT champion spent three laps on the Maserati's tail before driving past through Vale when Bertolini was held up by a GT2 car.
"It wasn't always easy," said Wendlinger. "There was always pressure from the Vitaphone car behind us. I got a bit lucky behind Andrea because he was blocked by a GT2 car."
The Maserati, co-driven by Vitaphone team boss Michael Bartels, ended up five and a half seconds behind at the finish.
The third-placed Luc Alphand Aventures Chevrolet Corvette C6.R driven by Guillaume Moreau and Xavier Massen was a further 20 seconds behind at the finish.
GT2 honours went to the ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3-RSR driven by Richard Westbrook and Emmanuel Collard. The Belgian-run Porsche battled with the lead AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT for much of the race, but ended up inheriting a clear victory when Gianmaria Risi retired the Ferrari with suspension damage in the closing stages.