Portland: Maserati qualifying report

The Maserati MC 12 will start fourth on the GT1 grid for the July 30 American Le Mans Series race at Portland International Raceway. Fabrizio de Simone qualified the No. 35 Maserati with a fast lap time of one minute 8.846 seconds on the...

The Maserati MC 12 will start fourth on the GT1 grid for the July 30 American Le Mans Series race at Portland International Raceway. Fabrizio de Simone qualified the No. 35 Maserati with a fast lap time of one minute 8.846 seconds on the 1.964-mile Oregon road course, less than seven-tenths of a second behind the class pole position. He also closed to third during the afternoon practice session, with a time of 1:09.394.

Former Formula One World Championship contender Mika Salo, now a Maserati factory driver, is sharing driving duty with de Simone this weekend. The pair started with two test sessions on Thursday, followed by Friday's practice and qualifying. The race is set for Saturday evening.

Maserati competes with an MC12 in compliance with the rules of IMSA and matches FIA GT Championship GT1 specifications. The team will not score points in the American Le Mans Series championship.

Fabrizio de Simone: "You always think you can do better, but we're a bit closer than in Sonoma [Calif., at the last race]. We did a lot of work with the team and with Pirelli to get the best balance for the conditions, to gain a bit of grip. I think we're going in the right direction - the car feels like it has good balance. This is our position for the moment. Tomorrow, we'll see where we can go."

Mika Salo: "The car is okay. We're improving it all the time. It was very hot weather for qualifying, but the race will be a little bit cooler because it's an evening race, so it's good for us. The car is consistent and comfortable for the race."

-www.maseraticorse.com.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Mika Salo , Fabrizio de Simone