Swiss Team dominates at Spa
Swiss Team took the spoils at round 1 in the Maserati Trofeo World Series at Spa. Balerna-based squad celebrated a double win with Gabriele Gardel and Mauro Calamia.
Local hero Renaud Kuppens, who took the title in 2012 and 2013, ended the weekend with a solitary point thanks to his pole position for Race 2. The Belgian ended up against the tyre wall following a Race 1 clash with Andrea Cecchellero. His car was too badly damaged and there was not enough time to repair it before the second event. Kuppens had to sit this one out.
Race 1 went to Gabriele Gardel with Alan Simoni and Cecchellero up next in what was an eventful race. Calamia played a major role starting from pole, but found himself back in fourteenth after being nudged early on. The Swiss driver kept his cool to cross the line in fourth, ahead of Alberto Cola, another driver caught up in the lap 1 storm.
Calamia’s luck turned in Race 2, one he dominated from start to finish. The Swiss Team driver lined up in second and made the most of Kuppens’ absence (who should have started on pole) to build a healthy lead. He stayed out in front for the entire 50 minutes, leaving the others to fight it out for the other podium slots; following him across the finish line were Cola and Gardel who, thanks to this result, takes an early championship lead. Simoni, who tried for third right until the very end, finished fourth. Newcomer Simone Di Luca claimed fifth and could have aimed for the podium if he had not been hit with a drive through. Riccardo Ragazzi set the third lap time in both the qualifying session, but paid a contact in Race 1.
The 2014 Maserati Trofeo World Series season kicked off with 22 cars on the grid. Next round will be held at the Hungaroring track on the weekend of 1 June.