Road Atlanta II: Thursday afternoon practice report

The No. 35 Maserati MC12 posted the fifth-fastest GT1 class time during Thursday afternoon practice for the 10-hour or 1000-mile Petit Le Mans, second-last race in the 2005 American Le Mans Series. Fabrizio de Simone lapped the challenging...

The No. 35 Maserati MC12 posted the fifth-fastest GT1 class time during Thursday afternoon practice for the 10-hour or 1000-mile Petit Le Mans, second-last race in the 2005 American Le Mans Series. Fabrizio de Simone lapped the challenging 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course in one minute 20.328 seconds for fifth in class behind the championship-leading Corvettes. He and his co-drivers Fabio Babini and Andrea Bertolini were happy with their progress in setting up the car for the 1000-mile or 10- hour race on Saturday.

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.

Fabio Babini: "It's a fantastic experience for me to drive with Maserati and Risi Competizione. It was good today because we tested different setups of the car and different types of tires, and it was good for me to get used to the track again. It's not an easy track; it's very difficult to drive in the fast corners with the prototypes. It's also very hot here. Last year my car had the engine in the front, but the Maserati is cooler for the driver because the engine is in the rear."

Andrea Bertolini: "I think it's a good track for us. We tested here with Pirelli for two days three months ago and now we've been testing a new compound [this week]. The whole feeling is good. I'm very confident because the car has good balance and it's consistent. The tire is very good for the very hot temperature and for the last part of the race when it is very cold."

Fabrizio de Simone: "We already raced here in April and we had a test in June. The conditions now are a bit different, but we worked on a very good direction for the setup. The car was much more stable to drive at the end of the day from where we began. We can go on working and getting a bit better, but I'm quite satisfied with what we did in the afternoon."

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