Estimate £1,800,000 - £2,300,000
Offered from the Autobau Collection
Chassis No. ZAMDF44B000024053
Purchased new and actively campaigned in GT1 events by its current owner
Finished 14th overall and 3rd in GT1 Class in 2007 ALMS Road America 500
Finished 19th overall and 2nd in GT1 Class in 2007 ALMS Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta
Eligible for Masters Endurance Legends and Endurance Racing Legends events
After decades of under-investment, Maserati’s takeover by Ferrari in 1999 heralded an exciting new era for the Modenese firm, as well as the reintroduction of the illustrious name to the international motor-racing arena after an absence of almost four decades. The liberalisation of the FIA GT Championship regulations in 2004 was to the advantage of small-volume supercar manufacturers, and the decision was taken to produce 50 Maserati MC12 Stradales—utilising the Ferrari Enzo chassis and engine as its basis—to enable the homologation of the MC12 GT1 racing variant.
The GT1 featured a sequential gearbox in place of the Stradale’s semi-automatic unit and a 31.2 mm air restrictor as required by the rules, and it was some 250 kg lighter than its road-going counterpart. It was an immediate success, scoring its maiden FIA GT Championship win in only its second race and securing both Drivers’ and Teams’ crowns every year from 2006 until 2010. A Maserati Corse-entered version had contested the 2005 American Le Mans Series, although it had not been eligible to score championship points due to an ongoing dispute surrounding its homologation.
This particular car, chassis no. 24053, was delivered new to the current owner in November 2006 and was completed to GT1 specification. As a Ferrari customer of long standing—having previously campaigned examples of Maranello’s magnificent 333 SP on both sides of the Atlantic for many years—the owner was assigned ‘ultra-customer’ status by the company and was accordingly offered the opportunity to purchase an MC12 GT1.
Having achieved considerable success in both Sports Prototype and GT racing for more than three decades, he was a vastly experienced driver and exactly the sort of privateer at which the MC12 GT1 was aimed. Supported by his longtime co-driver Didier Theys—himself twice a winner of the Daytona 24 Hours and a three-time Le Mans podium finisher—the car was earmarked for use in selected rounds of the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) alongside the pairing’s parallel programme in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) with an LMP2 Lola-Judd. The Maserati would be prepared by Kevin Doran and his eponymous Ohio-based Doran-Lista Racing operation.
The ALMS catered for both Sports Prototypes and GT cars—sub-divided into LMP1 and LMP2, and GT1 and GT2 classes, respectively—although the team’s focus was on being competitive within the GT ranks, as overall victory would not be a realistic possibility given the lighter weight and superior aerodynamics of the prototype cars. Regrettably, the team’s arrival coincided with a paucity of entries in the GT1 class; indeed, the 2007 series would only see five GT1 cars compete across the entire season. That said, one constant was the presence of the pace-setting Works Corvette Racing team, who would provide a meaningful benchmark against which the Doran-Lista squad could measure themselves.
Due to the congested nature of their season, the MC12 was not used until the Road America 500 in August, held at the legendary Elkhart Lake track in Wisconsin. Not unexpectedly, the team qualified 3rd (and last) in Class behind the two Works Corvettes, although Theys’s best lap was only a second slower than the lead Magnussen/O’Connell C6R and just over nine-tenths of a second slower than the sister car of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta. Superior fuel consumption and race strategy ensured that the LMP2 Penske Porsche Spyder took overall victory, although a thunderstorm led to over an hour of the race being run behind the safety car. In GT1, the Corvettes finished 1-2, the Doran-Lista MC12 having put in a solid performance to finish 14th overall and 3rd in Class, only three laps down on the class-winning Beretta/Gavin car.
The MC12’s second and final outing was at the ALMS’s flagship Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in early October. On this occasion, a new driver for the car was Andrea Bertolini, who—as chief test driver of the MC12 project and reigning FIA GT champion—could not have been better qualified for the role. Once again, the Works Corvettes were the only GT1 opposition, but a mighty performance in qualifying ensured that it was 24053 which took the class pole by almost a second from the Magnussen/O’Connell/Fellows C6R, with the sister car of Gavin/Beretta/Papis a further two-tenths back.
The race itself was memorable for witnessing the closest finish in ALMS history, the LMP1 Audi R10 of Capello and McNish defeating the Bernhard/Dumas/Long Penske Porsche by less than one second after almost 1,000 miles of racing. An early crash had eliminated the lead Corvette from the GT1 battle after only 15 laps, although a similar fate would befall the Doran-Lista car in the final hour to leave the Gavin/Beretta/Papis Corvette with an untroubled class victory and a highly impressive 9th place overall. Although they were not running at the finish, the Maserati team had covered sufficient distance to be classified as a finisher in 19th place overall and 2nd in GT1.
Following its Petit Le Mans accident, 24053 was rebuilt by Doran Racing, and in late 2008 it was shipped from the USA to the consignor’s private museum in Switzerland, where it has resided ever since.
This highly significant Maserati is presented exactly as it last raced, right down to the Petit Le Mans scrutineering decal still affixed to the roll cage. It is supported by an extensive history file, including the original purchase agreement, importation documents, and homologation papers, and is one of only two MC12 GT1s believed to have competed in the ALMS. Arguably one of the most charismatic GT cars of recent times, its participation would undoubtedly be welcomed by the popular Trans-Atlantic Masters Endurance Legends series and Endurance Racing Legends events, for which it is eligible and eminently suited.
AUCTION DETALS: 24 OCTOBER 2019
OLYMPIA LONDON, KENSINGTON, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM