The Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet, in the South of France, will stage the opening round of the 2013 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series. This first round will signal the start of an ever-more global championship, with races to be held in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.
At least 24 Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos will be on the grid, with many names from last year opting to sign up for another season. Among them, is the reigning champion: Renaud Kuppens; Konvex Motorsport’s Belgian driver will be out to defend the crown he won in 2012. Hoping to stop him will be the Alan Simoni-Riccardo Ragazzi pairing (who finished second last year) and Giuseppe Fascicolo, third in 2012, who will have a new partner in Andrea Ceccherello this time round. Making a return to Maserati’s single-make series is Frenchman Jonathan Sicart, winner of the GT4 title in the 2010 edition of the Maserati Trofeo; teaming up with him will be Ange Barde, a driver who took part in a few of last season’s races.
A new race format awaits the entrants, one that will raise the standards and make each round even more exciting than before. For the 2013 season, there will be two 30-minute events and one lasting 50 minutes (with a compulsory pit stop for all cars and driver change for crewed ones). However, the real change will be the introduction of added time for the quickest drivers: the top five drivers in the weekend’s first two races (determined by totalling their times) will have to pit from 5 to 20 seconds longer, on top of their compulsory 45 seconds, during the endurance race.
The winner (or winners) of the Championship crown will be awarded an exclusive, numbered and name-plated ‘Maserati 8CTF single speed’ bicycle. The bike derives from the Maserati 8CTF Limited Edition and has been produced by Montante Cicli in a limited run of 200, celebrating Wilbur Shaw’s 1939 and 1940 wins in the Indianapolis 500 at the wheel of the Maserati 8CTF.
Maserati’s media partner, MotorsTv, will cover the Trofeo Maserati events but for Italy an agreement has also been reached with Sportitalia. This weekend, races 1 and 3 will be beamed live from France and Radio Monte Carlo will be broadcasting live from Paul Ricard and will follow the whole season.
The www.maseraticorse.com website will be updated throughout the weekend with interviews, in-depth reports, videos and images.
Source: Maserati Corse
Images: Maserati/Grim Foto