Sbirrazzuoli and Simoni triumph in Shanghai Maserati Trofeo

Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Alan Simoni claimed victory, in Races 1 and 2, at the fifth round of the 2013 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series in Shanghai, China.

The Monaco-based driver was the first to triumph in the morning event, coming out on top in a four-way duel. Things were tense right from the start with three safety car restarts caused by drivers not respecting the starting procedure. The closing stages of the race were even more exciting with Sbirrazzuoli making the most of a last-curve error by Riccardo Ragazzi to claim the win. Ragazzi had led from the start but his mistake, probably caused by tyre wear, saw him slip off the podium. Alberto Cola (third) and Mikkel Mac (second) were the drivers who edged him out in a photo-finish. Renaud Kuppens came home 3'207 down on the winner, a result that was perhaps down to letting his concentration waver after an early clash with Ange Barde that saw the Frenchman limp out with a puncture.

In the afternoon race it was Alan Simoni’s turn to shine as he made amends for his team-mate, Riccardo Ragazzi, to secure his first win in this single-make series. This was another action-packed thirty minutes with the Italian managing to outdo Mikkel Mac and Renaud Kuppens to take the win. The Belgian bowed out of the fight towards the end, probably with one eye on the overall standings. Dutchman Mathijs Bakker finished outside the podium but improved on his earlier sixth spot.

Cedric Sbirrazzuoli: “I was in Ragazzi’s slipstream for a while. I moved out towards the end, hoping he would make a mistake as his tyres were really worn. This is how things turned out and I made the most of it to take the chequered flag. I would like to dedicate the win to Sean Edwards who passed away last month and who I considered to be one of the best GT drivers around”.

Alan Simoni: “It was an exceptional race; absolutely fantastic. I chased Mac and Kuppens early on and really felt it was going to be my day. I first got past the Dane and then took the opportunity to overtake Kuppens to move into the lead. I then tried to see things out and held the others off. I have been waiting for this for two years and finally my Maserati Trofeo moment has arrived”.

Race 1 result1. Sbirrazzuoli/A. De Leener 32’01.2532. Mikkel Mac 32’02.77203. Alberto Cola 32’02.725

Race 2 result1. Simoni/Ragazzi 31’00.7212. Mikkel Mac 31’01.4493. Renaud Kuppens 31:06.559*

*taking part in the Pirelli Team Cup