MASERATI TROFEO WORLD SERIES, VALLELUNGA (I), 12-13 APRIL 2014
The 2014 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series officially got underway with the Vallelunga shakedown on 12-13 April. The two-day test session saw over 20 drivers out on the track, among them a number of star names as Alan Simoni, Riccardo Ragazzi, Mauro Calamia, Alberto Cola and Andreas Segler. There were also lots of new faces to be seen with a total of 24 cars out on the circuit.
Maserati’s single-make series, launched in 2010, will head into its fifth year with a series of races in six countries and three continents. Things will get going on 2/3 May at Spa, Belgium, with the action taking place on a World Endurance Championship weekend. From there it will be on to the Hungaroring, Hungary, on 31 May-1 June as the Trofeo shares the billing with Round 3 of the DTM. England will see the European meets come to a close on 19-20 July as the Maseratis and the International GT Open entrants compete at Silverstone. This round will also see the Trofeo Europa awarded to the overall leader.
The Trofeo Maserati makes a return to the United States on 23-24 August, this time the stage will be the Virginia International Raceway. This will be the first time that the track situated close to Danville, Virginia, will be involved; the circuit will also host the Tudor USCC Championship. The circus will move on to Shanghai, China, on 11-12 October for a weekend that will also see the WTCC cars on the track. The season’s finale will come at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit on 11-12 December with the Trofeo and Abu Dhabi 12 Hour events both being held. The prize-giving ceremony will see the awards handed out for the Overall Trofeo (open to all drivers), the Trofeo Europa (open to all drivers), the Pirelli Single Driver Cup (for single drivers racing their own Maserati), the Pirelli Twin Drivers Cup (for crews racing their own Maserati), the Trofeo Over 50, Trofeo Under 30 and the Pirelli Pole Position Award.
There has again been a lot of interest in the series. Participants appreciate the high level of organisation and the all-inclusive format, both for single drivers and crews. The exclusive hospitality zone at all the events and the attraction of driving a Maserati, a brand that celebrates its centenary this year, rounds off the package. The figures from last season show how buoyant the Maserati series is: 18 races were run with 26 Maserati GranTurismos on the grid for each race. 70 drivers from 22 countries competed over a total distance of 68.828 km and 29.640 minutes.
The cost of participating in the official test session and three European rounds is €70.000 (net of taxes); competing in the entire World Series is €130.000 (net of taxes).
Privateers can also compete in the Trofeo Maserati as long as they respect Maserati’s technical homologation. All the teams must have the same set up and this cannot be modified.
The Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo has undergone a few changes over the winter. These modifications have been mainly to the aerodynamics with the fitting of a new rear diffuser, a completely redesigned front splitter and the adoption of a flat undertray with the aim being to produce more downforce on the car’s nose. The new rear spoiler provides more grip and harmonises the car’s looks. The rear anti-rollbar improves handling and makes cornering more precise while the engineers have kept faith with the 4.691 cc, 488 bhp V8 engine. The car still comes in at 1380 kg and all the GranTurimo MC Trofeos will have been set up by the technicians to deliver the same levels of performance.
The race format has also been tweaked with the endurance event now lasting 60 minutes (10 more than last season) with a compulsory pit stop. Qualifying will be held over two 15-minute stints with free practice lasting for two 45-minute sessions. As well as the longer race, the drivers will battle it out in two 30-minute sprints. The only exception to this programme will be at Spa, Belgium, where two 50-minute races, without a stop, are planned.
The tie-up with Radio Monte Carlo, including reports from the circuit, has been confirmed while the races will be shown on Class TV (channel 27 on digital) in Italy; MotorsTV will broadcast the events in the rest of Europe.