Motor Sport Release

Date

8 Jan 2016

Maserati Trofeo World Series 2015

Romain Monti: the Maserati Trofeo’s last champion

His first taste of the Maserati Trofeo dates back to the final round of the 2014 Maserati Trofeo. The title was eventually won by Mauro Calamia while Romain Monti was just another driver on the entry list. He was young, French, full of ambition and bursting with potential. He left a memorable calling card: a win, a second and a third spot. Not bad for a beginner. On the eve of the 2015 series, he was not considered among the fancied drivers but as a contender. However, the Frenchman from Vitry Sur Seine, over the course of the season, put everyone in their place, including runner-up Riccardo Ragazzi. The Italian’s fate was decided when he missed the second round at Spielberg, Austria. Romain made the most of it as he collected a first and a second spot, building a lead the chasing pack could not bridge. Overall, it was a sparkling season for Monti, born in 1990. He scored five wins and four second places in the twelve races he ran. Some going.

You drove karts, in the Porsche Carrera Cup France for four years, and then turned out in the Blancpain Endurance Series. How did you end up choosing the Trofeo Maserati? 
“I had never driven a Maserati; one of the biggest brands in the world. I am not only talking about cars, but everything the brand represents. If I think back to how many, and which, drivers have appeared in a Maserati, I can’t help but feel honoured to have competed in this series. Also, all the cars are the same in the Maserati Trofeo; everyone is on the same level and it is the driver who makes the difference. This is not something to be underestimated.

How do you judge the level of the series you have just won? 
“Over the season, I discovered that there were very quick and competitive drivers out there. Some of them have been around for years and have bags of experience. I am happy to have taken them on”.

Your first Trofeo Maserati appearance came in 2014… 
“Yes, I was at Abu Dhabi in 2014. I felt at home straight away and picked up a win, perhaps because I am able to adapt to new circuits quickly”.

Talk us through the 2015 victory. 
“I had a difficult start at Paul Ricard: I clashed with Ragazzi at turn one in the first race and went off the track. I didn’t give in and hit back with a win in Race 2. By the end of the second round, in Austria, I was in the overall lead. Over the subsequent races I tried to collect as many points as possible. It wasn’t easy because finishing in the top three means carrying a big weight handicap for the next race. This made things harder but didn’t prevent me from taking the championship”.

Who was your toughest opponent? 
“There were a few, including guests like Japanese driver Shinji Nakano and Derek Hill. It was an honour to go up against them. Of course, Ragazzi was very competitive and Adrien De Leener was the driver who surprised me most”.

Is this victory important in terms of your career? 
“It adds something to my profile, for sure: winning in a Maserati is significant. Also, taking part in this single-make series gave me the chance to travel the world and put myself out there. I have made new friends, got to know new circuits and buiIt up my experience. These are all factors that will be important for upcoming series. Maybe I will continue in the GT3 series”.

Who would you like to dedicate the title to? 
“To my father in particular. He was always by my side and helped me. I would not have been able to do it without him. I would also like to thank my friends and the sponsors who supported me”.

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