Maserati and Pirelli combined for a strong start to the American Le Mans Series race weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Italian drivers Andrea Bertolini and Fabrizio De Simone posted the fourth fastest GT1 lap time on Thursday, pacing...
Maserati and Pirelli combined for a strong start to the American Le Mans Series race weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Italian drivers Andrea Bertolini and Fabrizio De Simone posted the fourth fastest GT1 lap time on Thursday, pacing the No. 35 Maserati MC12 around the 2.53-mile road course in one minute 31.347 seconds. They benefited from a new tire compound, changes to the car's aerodynamic setup and a rule change that allows an increase in the size of the engine air restrictors.
Maserati competes with an MC12 in compliance with the rules of IMSA and matches FIA GT1 specifications. The team will not score points for the ALMS championship. The drivers are Italians Andrea Bertolini, Ferrari-Maserati official test driver, and Fabrizio De Simone.
Giorgio Ascanelli, technical director, Maserati Corse: "We appreciate the effort that IMSA is making in achieving the balance of performance in the ALMS championship, which is rightly dominated by the Corvettes because of the good job they've done. This effectively is worth the effort that Maserati has been putting into this racing program, which is sustained in every race of the ALMS championship. Maserati is proud to race on American soil."
Andrea Bertolini: "Every race is a chance for our team to improve the car. Today, we tried a new aero package, the restrictor was one setting back and the tire is a new compound. Every race is important for us for development and every time, we close the gap to Corvette. It's very positive. We had a very good first hour of free practice and I hope we continue tomorrow with development of the car and the tires."
Fabrizio De Simone: "It's my first time at this track. It's very nice to drive. The main thing is to keep the right line every time and never force braking or force going off-throttle."
The participation of Maserati in the ALMS has been made possible thanks to the fundamental co-operation 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 American Le Mans Series.