The two going for the title, Romain Monti and Riccardo Ragazzi finished outside the points so everything will decided at Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 11 December. Even so, the Frenchman, with his 40-point lead, is clear favourite; there are 41 still to play for. To be precise, the points difference could differ as the drivers will have to ditch the points from one of the rounds. Today, the first out of the running was the Italian: he piled into the barriers at turn one after losing control of the car. Lino Curti was also caught up in the accident and ended up with a puncture. Monti's race ended on lap seven. He had been battling for the leading spots when an overtaking move on Shinji Nakano went wrong. He clipped the Japanese driver's Car and spun off, careering into Carlo Curti on the way. The Frenchman was given a drive-through for the clash, one that he opted to take as a 25 second time penalty at the end. Following the incident, the safety car had to be called for and the two cars towed away. In all, this took up five laps. Then, at the restart, came another collision, this time between Barrie Baxter and Andreas Segler. Giuseppe Fascicolo was also involved but he managed to cross the line in eighth behind Claudio Giudice.
"It's incredible", beamed Fogliani. "This is my first Maserati Trofeo win and it comes in my first season. I'm pretty happy. I made the most of my starting spot and tried to push as hard as I could. I always stayed focused, even at the restart. In the end, it all went well. This is a great championship".
On Saturday, a spectacular parade of both classic and modern Maseratis was organised by Maserati Club Japan members. Hundreds of cars took part.
In Europe, highlights of the Maserati weekend in Japan can be caught on Motors TV; in Italy they will be broadcast on Odeon 24 (channel 177) and on Rete Economy (Sky channel 512). Over in North America, www.torque.tv will show the action. Times and dates of the programmes will soon be published on the www.maseraticorse.com website.
Race 2 results: 1 Alessandro Fogliani 42:41.427 2 Alexander West 42:42.197 3 Adrien De Leener 42:42.732
Maserati Trofeo World Series - Suzuka (J) - Race 2