Jeff Courtney came out on top in the Trofeo Maserati North America. The series ended last weekend (12-13 September) at Laguna Seca in what was the final round in the Pirelli World Challenge. Five Maserati GranTurismo MCs, in GTS set up, took part at the California circuit; the mini-championship also saw two other rounds run in the USA: the first at Road America, in June, and at the Virginia International Raceway in August. The special classification was reserved to Us drivers who took part in all three americans rounds. In the end, Courtney triumphed on 77 points, with Patrick Byrne 10 points down. As well as bringing home the title, Courtney also earned the right to dispute the last round in the Maserati Trofeo World Series. This will be held at Abu Dhabi, UAE, in December.
Five Maseratis competed against a pack of GTS cars at Laguna Seca, despite a conservative balance of performance spec imposed by the PWC technicians. The Maseratis continued the form shown at Road America in June as Derek Hill (son of ex-F1 world champion, Phil Hill), in the No. 27, Chase-liveried car, placed seventh after lining up in eleventh spot. Freddie Hunt (his father, James, claimed the 1976 F1 crown) wanted to follow up his Trofeo Maserati appearance at Virginia with a drive in a GTS-spec GranTurismo. Unfortunately for the Englishman, an early crash at Laguna Seca saw him ruled out. In the end, Jeff Courtney came in eleven position, tracked by Patrick Byrne; Vafa Kordestani was 23.
The next stage in the series (on 25 October) will be at Suzuka, Japan. This will be the appetiser before the curtain comes down on another exciting season at Abu Dhabi on 11 December.