Chevrolet Corvette drivers Marc Hennerici and Andi Zuber triumphed in the qualifying race at the first round of the new FIA GT1 World Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The Phoenix/Carsport Corvette C6.R led to the mandatory round of pit stops in the middle of the one-hour race in the hands of Hennerici and emerged in front with Zuber after the stops were complete.
The win gives Hennerici and Zuber eight points, but a 10-place grid penalty, courtesy of an homologation problem on the Corvette, means Zuber will not start this evening's championship race from pole position.
The winning Chevy survived a first-corner clash with the Vitaphone Maserati MC12 driven by Miguel Ramos, which triggered a multi-car accident and brought out the safety car.
"I got a big hit, but fortunately nothing was damaged," Hennerici said. "The team made a good stop and Andi had fantastic speed and we were able to win."
Zuber was challenged early on by Romain Grosjean, who had surged through the field in the Matech Ford. Only 11th on the grid, he jumped to fifth as the first lap carnage unfolded, then charged up to second, where the car would finish with Thomas Mutsch on board.
Third place went to last year's FIA GT Championship winners, Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini, in the best of the Vitaphone Maserati MC12s. The AMR Young Driver crew of Stefan Mucke and Christoffer Nygaard finished fourth in their Aston Martin DBR9.