Bartels claims a one-two in Virginia
Michael Bartels claimed a one-two in Round 4 of the Maserati Trofeo World Series at the Virginia International Raceway. The German driver, making a comeback to competition after a gap of almost two years, made a triumphant Maserati return, following his exploits in the Maserati MC12, in the FIA GT series.
Race 1 was held on Saturday morning and Bartels managed to get the better of the 22 enrolled crews thanks to his experience. The key moment came halfway through the race when the safety car came on to remove Mark Turley‘s car from a dangerous spot on the track. At the restart, the German was quick in snatching first place when he caught polesitter Mauro Calamia. Trying to hit back on the same lap, the Swiss driver ending putting his wheels on the grass and lost control, slipping way down the pack. This meant that Bartels crossed the line ahead of Riccardo Ragazzi, Tom Long (the top US driver), Alan Simoni and Nick Mancuso. For the record, the points for finishing first went to Ragazzi as Bartels, a guest Maserati Trofeo driver, does not pick up any points.
Run on Saturday evening, Race 2 saw Bartels line up in third. He wasn’t there for long after finding a way past Tyler McQuarrie and Calamia at turn one. Again the Swiss man strayed onto the grass when chasing down the leader and again he suffered the same fate. Bartels went on to take the chequered flag from Ragazzi and McQuarrie, who held off Simoni’s last ditch attack. In fifth came Andreas Segler, who battled hard with Mario Cordoni, until the Italian was forced to retire after a last-lap collision. Lino Curti took sixth, just up on Patrick Shovlin.