The No. 35 Maserati MC12 will start third on the GT1 grid for the American Le Mans Series race at Mosport International Raceway, after a strong practice and qualifying effort on Saturday. Andrea Bertolini opened the day with the fastest GT1 lap in...
The No. 35 Maserati MC12 will start third on the GT1 grid for the American Le Mans Series race at Mosport International Raceway, after a strong practice and qualifying effort on Saturday. Andrea Bertolini opened the day with the fastest GT1 lap in morning practice, then followed with a flying qualifying lap of one minute 13.885 seconds on the 2.459-mile road course, just four-tenths of a second off the class pole-setting Saleen and one- tenth behind the leading Corvette.
Bertolini and his co-driver Fabrizio de Simone benefitted from two days of testing earlier in the week, plus a new tire construction from team partner Pirelli. Maserati Corse and the drivers are new to the American Le Mans Series this year, so the extra track time was valuable for car development and setup.
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.
Giorgio Ascanelli, Maserati Corse technical director: "We had a very good day despite the fact that we didn't collect all that we could, because we had traffic in our good lap. Having two days of testing here has been a benefit because we didn't start with the usual disadvantage compared to the others - we came to the weekend prepared to challenge. Pirelli brought some new material which helped us a lot, and I think we are seeing the results of the work of the year. For us it was a good day, but we share the sorrow of the American nation for the [hurricane] disaster that hit them this week."
Andrea Bertolini: "Qualifying was good for us because the lap times were very close. Pirelli prepared a new construction of the tire that is quick, and it's good for the race because it is very consistent. I am very happy today. On the quick lap time, I had to overtake one Porsche, so it was possible to be two- or three-tenths [of a second] better. But anyway, it's good for Maserati and for Pirelli."
Fabrizio de Simone: "Andrea did a good job. He had some traffic in his best laps, so it could have been a little better. But third is good. It means we have good consistency for the race, which is the main point. We'll see what happens tomorrow."