Road Atlanta II: Maserati race report

The No. 35 Maserati MC12 finished fourth in the GT1 class in the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, despite a challenging race on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course in Braselton, Ga. The finish gave the Italian manufacturer a perfect ...

The No. 35 Maserati MC12 finished fourth in the GT1 class in the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, despite a challenging race on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course in Braselton, Ga. The finish gave the Italian manufacturer a perfect record of endurance finishes this season, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Spa and the Petit Le Mans.

Fabio Babini was fourth in class after the first five hours of the race, which ran nine hours, 17 minutes (see half-distance report). He pitted at 5h32 and Fabrizio de Simone took over. He returned to the track fifth in GT1, six laps behind the class leader. He pitted at 7h19 for a driver change to Andrea Bertolini. The team changed only the rear tires, which ultimately caused a handling issue, so Bertolini stopped for tires and fuel at 7h47. He drove until 8h48, handing off to Babini for the final stint. Babini was able to improve his position to finish fourth in class and eighth overall in the 30-class field.

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.

Claudio Berro, general manager, Maserati Corse: "Another important result for our car regarding the ability of the Maserati during the season in America - not one mechanical failure. In this race we had some trouble, but we arrived very close to the podium and we are happy for that. We have another race and we'll try for a podium in Laguna Seca [in Monterey, Calif., on 15 October]."

Fabio Babini: "It was important to finish the race. It was a good job for the team Risi Competizione and Pirelli and Maserati. It was impossible to improve to the third position after six hours, but it was a good result for us. It was important to gain more experience for next year and to finish for Maserati."

Andrea Bertolini: "It was good for the car because it had 100 per cent finishes all the long-distance races, which is very unbelievable because it is the first year for the car. For this, I'm very happy. Today, we did good work with Pirelli; we learned more about the tires for the next race. It's important to continue our work and I hope in the future we'll have a wonderful result."

Fabrizio de Simone: "I think our performance and the pace we could keep made it a good day. We learned a lot and we could keep the same pace as the Aston Martin and Corvette. In my long stint, my second stint, I was actually faster than the Aston and the Corvette, but it wasn't easy to overtake the Corvette. But it was a good result. I'll take it."

The participation of Maserati in the ALMS has been made possible thanks to the fundamental cooperation of important partners, including Pirelli and team Risi Competizione, that support Maserati logistically. The MC12 is using Pirelli Racing P Zero tires, developed in 2004 and currently used on an exclusive basis in the FIA GT Championship. The successful cooperation between Maserati and Pirelli continues in the ALMS.

-www.maseraticorse.com.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Fabrizio de Simone , Fabio Babini , Andrea Bertolini
Teams Risi Competizione