Two Maserati MC12s made it up to the podium today here in Bucharest, where the second race of the City Challenge was run along the 3,071-meter track in the city streets of the Romanian capital, around the magnificent Parliament building. After an excellent Race 1 result, run the previous evening, Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels repeated yesterday's third place, despite the 105-kg ballast on board. The two Vitaphone Racing Team driving aces ran a steady, consistent race. From fourth place at the start, they took advantage of the removal of Gollin's Corvette due to contact against a wall, which occurred in the 39th lap. The day's protagonist was car no. 2, driven by Miguel Ramos and Alexandre Negraõ, which had achieved fourth place yesterday and raced powerfully today. At the start, Negraõ passed Bertolini and then Ramos ended the race in second place, 9"964 from winner Marcel Fassler, despite gear trouble and with overheated brakes.

With these results Bertolini/Bartels firmly maintain the top places in the Champion ship, earning a 12.5-point advantage over team-mates Ramos/Negraõ and 16 over the Corvette driven by Gollin/Hezemans, while the Vitaphone Racing Team remains tops in the car makers' classification. The next race is scheduled on 14 September on the classic Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.

Maserati MC12, 1 of 4
Maserati MC12, 2 of 4
Maserati MC12, 3 of 4
Maserati MC12, 4 of 4

Andrea Bertolini: "Today's place in the podium and the six points acquired here in Bucharest are a result that goes beyond our expectations, as racing with such heavy ballast on a city circuit certainly gave us no advantages. I mainly tried to save the brakes, as they had undergone terrible wear, and then Gollin's exit practically gave us the podium."

Michael Bartels: "Vitaphone Racing has once more taken two cars up on the podium. I am very happy because it is an unexpected result due to the ballast we were carrying. Everything is going the way it should, the technical team and the drivers are on the same wavelength and consequently we are getting good results. I have to thank the organizers and the city of Bucharest for the incredible work they've done. It is not easy to seal off a city of 3 million inhabitants for a race. I hope to return here next year for another race."

Miguel Ramos: "It was the toughest race of my life becaus e when my turn to drive came the car was having problems with the clutch between the second and third gears, and by then the brakes were overheated too. I practically ran my stint entirely on fourth, taking incredible risks, but all went well."

Alexandre Negraõ: "I felt immediately at home in this circuit, which was new to me. I started off quite well and soon reached podium position but during my turn at driving I had already noticed that there was a problem downshifting. After Spa I also got second place this time; now it would be great to win."