"Swiss" Maserati Quattroporte in Superstars race deze maand
Het is een tijdje stil geweest rond dit kampieonschap,maar Maserati doet nog volop mee. Ook is het grappig te zien, in het kader van de overname van Chrysler door Fiat, is de deelname van een Chrysler 300C:
The Maserati Quattroporte ambitiously being developed by Swiss Team and driven by Andrea Chiesa has taken part in two further rounds of the Italian Superstars series this month. Following the project's debut at the second round at Adria in May it has been on to round three of the Superstars at Magione (June 7) and round four at Mugello (June 21).
It has been a mixed month though for the Swiss Team's Quattroporte as it fights around the lower order in the field as the development of the sedan pushes on and the outfit strives to get on terms with the rival offerings from BMW, Mercedes, Chrysler, Cadillac and Jaguar that make up this hotly fought series. At Magione Chiesa qualified the car thirteenth out of the seventeen runners but retired after seven laps of race one and just missed out on the points paying positions with an eleventh place finish in race two. On to Mugello and another thirteenth grid slot beckoned, and while Chiesa was an instant retirement in the opening race, he claimed a very respectable tenth place finish in race two to add a further point to the two he had collected on the car's debut in Adria.
Of interest also in the Superstars series in light of the recent takeover of control of Chrysler by Fiat, is the Zakspeed-entered Chrysler 300 C SRT8 driven by former Minardi and Dallara F1-driver Pierluigi Martini. This car is one of the firm title favourites and following wins during both of the opening rounds at Imola and Adria, Martini continued this form up with a strong June, claiming a win - thanks in part to astute tyre choice - and a sixth place - where he was slowed by 'success' ballast - at Magione, which he quickly followed up with a second - losing victory only by thousandths of a second - and a fifth place - after a 20 second time penalty - at Mugello. This leaves the Chrysler driver on 102 points and just 6 behind championship leader Stefano Gabellini (BMW 550i). Third place in the standings after four rounds is Max Pigoli (Mercedes C63 AMG) with 92 points.
The next and fifth round of the 2009 Superstars championship will take place at Portimao-Portogallo (August 2), which will be followed by a visit to Vallelunga (September 20), a second appointment at Mugello a week later (September 27) and a round at Monza (October 18 ) before the season finale sees the competitors travelling cross continents to the famous Kyalami circuit in South Africa (November 29). The Swiss Team are also building a second Quattroporte to run alongside Chiesa's #46 car which will be piloted by an as-yet undisclosed driver.
Superstars Rd3 - Magione
Two fascinating challenges typified the season's third round on Magione circuit in Umbria. The podium saw two former F1 drivers taking turns: Gianni Morbidelli, who was able to achieve his first season win in Race 1 at the wheel of Roal Motorsport BMW M3 and, in Race 2, Pierluigi Martini who brought the Team Zakspeed Chrysler 300C SRT8 on the highest podium step for the third time out of six races, actually leading the driver from Pesaro. The morning race, held on a dry track, saw Morbidelli seizing the victory after getting the better on the pressing duel fought against Alessandro Bernasconi who, at the wheel of Habitat Racing BMW 550i, was however able to seize second place ahead of Gabellini. Actually this last had outshined during the first part of the race but, because of yellow flags, was caught by his rivals who, at the tenth lap, were able to prevail after a mistake of the driver from Cattolica. Pigoli’s Mercedes conquered fourth place during last lap over Roberto Papini (BMW M5), with Martini only sixth for the weight handicap imposed for previous results. Mauro Cesari, seventh with Caal Racing BMW M5, leads Kristian Ghedina, with Movisport BMW 550i, and Roberto Del Castello’s excellent Cadillac CTS-V (Santucci Motorsport), while Ermanno Dionisio, with Ferlito Motors Jaguar S-Type R, brings to a close the top ten.
Weather conditions, on the contrary, influenced Race 2. The track, damp from the rain fallen up to a few minutes from the start, helped Martini who, springing from second row, at the first braking point is able to seize race leadership. Behind him an excellent Ghedina who, starting from pole thanks to the inverted grid system after Race 1, held back Morbidelli’s attacks for a long time. Rain expectation come to nothing after a few minutes and many drivers who had chosen rain tyres, and amongst them was Gabellini, were forced back to the pits to fit slicks, thence losing ground against the leading group. The standings behind Martini saw Ghedina, Pigoli and Morbidelli taking turns, with the last attempting many times to seize the second win of the day but Martini’s blazing defence forced him to give up. On last lap the leading trio was gathered in a few metres and the final sprint saw Morbidelli outdistanced by five tenths only and Ghedina, third, at one second. Pigoli, fourth again, led Dionisio’s Jaguar, Francesco Ascani’s BMW M3 (Roal Motorsport) and the second Jaguar entrusted to the returning Moreno Petrini, with Nico Caldarola (BMW M5, Vaccari Motori) eighth ahead of Gabellini and Papini.
Superstars - Rd4 Mugello
There was a fortnight's break before the Mugello Circuit handed Gabellini his first double win of the 2009 season. The driver from Cattolica put his BMW 550i at the top of the championship's standings by climbing up to the lead late in both heats. On Race 1, he took advantage from the technical issues stopping early dominator Morbidelli and cruised to the line in front of the Mercedes C63 AMG driven by Pigoli, and the BMW M5 of Cesari. In Race 2, Gabellini won an unbelievable drag race to the finish line after moving his way in on Martini at the "Bucine" corner, as he edged the former Formula One driver by just 4 thousands of a second. Ghedina swept to his second podium finish of the month, after the one scored at Magione, by balancing great pace and aggression on his Movisport 550i. The electrical troubles experienced in Race 1, and the blown tyre that stopped him on Race 2 prevented Morbidelli from getting back in contention for the 2009 title. The driver from Pesaro is now 43 points back in fourth.
Behind the top-three (Gabellini, Pigoli, Cesari), Race 1 featured Sandro Bettini (Caal Racing) in fourth and Martini in fifth due to a 25-second penalty resulting from a contact with Papini. Ascani ended up in 6th, followed by Alessandro Cacciari (Jaguar S-Type R), Nico Caldarola (BMW M5), Fabrizio Armetta (BMW M5, also hit by a 25-second penalty due to a contact with Ascani) and Ermanno Dionisio (Jaguar S-Type R).
Race 2 featured an huge duel in the final four laps between Martini and Gabellini. Gabellini, who had caught the leader in the second half of the race, got past with two to go at "Bucine", but suffered Martini's comeback on the front straight. As the same moves repeated on the following lap, the two cars blasted down to the chequered flag, and came to the line with Gabellini just 4 thousands of a second in front, for his third win of the season. In third, Ghedina topped Pigoli Cesari, Bettini, Ascani, Dionisio, Caldarola and the Maserati Quattroporte of Chiesa.
Nieuws, uitslagen e.d. m.b.t. toerwagenraces.
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