Romain Monti has claimed victory in the third round of the Maserati Trofeo World Series. This win on the super-fast Road America circuit in the USA, means that the Frenchman has consolidated his overall lead over Riccardo Ragazzi. Before this round, the gap between the two was 22 points; now it is 23: 86 to 63.
The Frenchman lined up on row five but still crossed the line ahead of his direct rival, Ragazzi, and Nick Mancuso. The American earned third spot on the very last lap courtesy of overtaking Lino Curti; Curti had challenged for the lead throughout. In fifth came Jeffrey Courtney, a place he grabbed after getting past Adrien De Leener towards the end; De Leener had led for a big chunk of the race. Seventh went to Andreas Segler, followed by Alessandro Iazzetti and Richard Denny. The Australian started from pole position, as regulations call for the top ten Race 1 places to be inverted. He sparred with the top five drivers before throwing away the chance of a decent finish when he lost control of his car on lap 12. In tenth came Carlo Curti, the brother of Lino.
Derek Hill, winner of Saturday's Race 1, was forced out with a mechanical problem while he was sitting in seventh. Patrick Byrne was also forced to quit with a broken semi-axle when battling with his co-national, Hill.
On the podium, Monti reflected that he had managed to do well after having to carry an extra 50kg from Austria. "In Race 2 I lined up on fifth and built on my good start to mount a comeback. I later edged past De Leener to take the lead. It was a really long race and I couldn't wait for it to finish. I am still the overall leader after this round and will be doing my best to be at the next one in Virginia to continue my title bid".
Round 4 in the Maserati Trofeo World Series, and the second Maserati North America meet, will be run on 19 August at the Virginia International Raceway.
Highlights of both races will be shown, across Europe, on Motors TV; in Italy on Odeon and Rete Economy; and, in the US, on www.torque.tv. More information can be found on the www.maseraticorse.com website.
It was a busy weekend for US driver Nick Mancuso in Road America circuit. He picked up two podium positions in the Trofeo Maserati and also competed in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) driving a Maserati GranTurismo MC GTS from team Vita4one; a second car had Gianmarco Raimondo in command. During Saturday's qualifying the two drivers placed first and third with Mancuso topping the standings. As this is a test, the team and PWC organisers agreed for the Maseratis to start from the back of the grid so that they didn't interfere with the championship tussle. Still, Nick Mancuso pulled off two great fightbacks: in Race 1 he sped from twentieth to sixth spot, a performance he bettered next time out when he finished fifth. The second car, driven by Gianmarco Raimondo, was hampered by transmission problems in both events. Overall, the team led by Giuseppe Angiullican feel satisfied at the car's extremely positive start in its GTS set up. The next step in its development will be the Pirelli World Challenge round al Laguna Seca on 13 September.
Race 2 results:
1 Romain Monti 44:10.281
2 Riccardo Ragazzi 44:20.287
3 Nick Mancuso 44:20.432
1 Romain Monti p. 86
2 Riccardo Ragazzi p. 63
3 Lino Curti p. 39