Phoenix: SFoW Maserati race report

Tough Day in The Desert PHOENIX, AZ (April 11, 2004) -- The SFoW Maserati Trofeo Light GT was well on the way to a top finish here in the Food City 250, part of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, when an errant race car cost them ...

Tough Day in The Desert

PHOENIX, AZ (April 11, 2004) -- The SFoW Maserati Trofeo Light GT was well on the way to a top finish here in the Food City 250, part of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, when an errant race car cost them a chance at the win.

Driver Joao Barbosa had qualified the Maserati third in GT, the highest starting position yet for the new car. He consistently ran in the top three GT cars during the first hour of the race, but was then hit by one of the Daytona Prototypes, damaging the rear suspension.

The SFoW Maserati crew was able to repair the damage and return the car to the track, but the time lost eliminated any chance of a high placing. Both drivers Emil Assentato and Steve Earle drove stints, eventually placing the Maserati eighth in the GT class at the end of the two hour 45 minute race.

"The car was running very well, and the second set of tires was really good," Barbosa said after the race. "I was really pushing, and then a Daytona prototype which had spun hit me. I don't know why he didn't wait until everyone went by. He hit me on the right side pretty hard."

"It's disappointing," said Team Manager Glenn Marquis. "We've made some changes to the car which really worked. We were right where we wanted to be, running to our strategy, and then Joao got hit. The crew did an outstanding job repairing the Maserati and getting it back on the track, and Emil and Steve both drove well, but I think the accident cost us a sure podium finish"

The team's second entry, a Ferrari Challenge driven by Dan Kennedy and TJ Jermoluk, had a consistent race, only their second in the series. Kennedy qualified seventh in the SGS Class, and the Ferrari, sponsored by Kennedy Homes and the Hyperion Development Group, finished ninth.

CBNC, "Arizona's Hottest Night Club," joined SFoW Maserati as a sponsor for the Food City 250. Primary sponsorship for the SFoW Maserati team, 2002 and 2003 Rolex Sports Car Series GT Champions, comes from Maserati of Washington. Additional support is provided by Simply Wireless, Inc., one of the nation's premiere wireless retailers; TubiStyle, the leading after-market supplier of exhaust systems for exotic cars; Putnam Leasing, one of the oldest specialty vehicle leasing companies in the United States; Tradition, a world leader in the brokerage of financial and non-financial products; and J.L. Earle, M.D., P.A. Orthopaedic Surgery.

The next race for the SFoW Maserati Trofeo Light is the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant, on May 23.

Further information on the Maserati Coupe and Spyder, the Maserati Trofeo Light GT, and the SFoW may be found at www.MaseratiGT.com on the Internet.

-sfow-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Joao Barbosa , Dan Kennedy