Maserati Trofeo reaches USA
The engines on the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos will come alive again four Round 4, this season’s first event outside Europe. This time round, the stage will be the USA and Virginia International Raceway, with the races co-inciding with the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America. The Maserati Trofeo World Series was run in the US in 2012 and 2013 but at the California circuit of Sonoma. For Maserati, the next round marks a return to the track, near Danville, at which Carrol Shelby drove his No.98 Maserati 450S to victory in 1957. He managed to complete 20 laps over a race distance of around 104km, beating off the best competition of the era.
Last time out in the 2014 Maserati Trofeo, held at Silverstone, Mauro Calamia claimed the season’s first title: the Trofeo Europa. Now that reigning champion Renaud Kuppens has pulled out, the search is on for a successor with Calamia looking most likely. Second overall is Gabriele Gardel but he can be ruled out as his season ended at the last round. One driver who will be feeling confident is Italian Riccardo Ragazzi and, if his luck turns, so will Alan Simoni. With things now on a global stage, the Europeans will be up against ten or so North Americans in the triple challenge that will see two 30’ sprints and a 60’ endurance race held.
On the entry list will be drivers who had the fortune to tame the 488bhp GranTurismo MC Trofeo at Sonoma. For the third consecutive year US driver Jonathan Becker and Canadian Damon Ockey will appear. Also back is Ronald Vogel and the crew formed by Patrick Byrne and Tyler Mcquarrie. Newcomers will be Thomas O’Gara, Jim Taggart, Tom Long, for the USA, and Robert Herjavech, from Canada. Michael Bartels will be the guest driver – the German is forever linked with Maserati after his success driving the MC12 in the FIA GT series as well as his winning the 2010 World FIA GT alongside Andrea Bertolini.
Maserati Trofeo World Series races can be seen, a few days after the event, on Class TV in Italy and on MotorsTV outside the country.