Maserati MC12 #35 during Thursday's 1st practice .... 10th ...2nd GT1 .... Andrea Bertolini 2:54.889 in torrential rain
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Maserati back to Sebring after 48 years
Maserati MC12 #35 during Thursday's 1st practice .... 10th ...2nd GT1 .... Andrea Bertolini 2:54.889 in torrential rain

16.11.2009, 05:25:25 cet

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Sebring, March 17, 2005

After 48 years, Maserati is back with a factory racing car in Sebring, where in 1957 Juan Manuel Fangio and Jean Behra won the 12 Hours race with a 450S, the last victory in the US with a factory car.

Maserati presents directly a MC12 in compliance with the rules of IMSA. The car matches FIA GT1 specs. and carries a ballast of 50 kilos. The team will not score points for the Championship. The drivers are Italians Andrea Bertolini - Ferrari-Maserati official tester, Fabrizio De Simone and Fabio Babini - Pirelli tester.

The team didn’t test before in Sebring, a very demanding circuit for the car, under the mechanical point of view. The track is very hard with tyres and set up and has a lot of bumps. So there are a lot of things to do and to test. The staff is working well, progessing session by session without any mechanical failure. It is very important to find a good set up to find the right balance and to make the right choice of tyres, in order to be consistent during the long race.

Due to the bad weather conditions, IMSA today has decided to cancel the official qualyfing session. The starting grid of the race comes from yesterday practice results. The Maserati drivers set the 9th position and are confident for the race. This evening schedule includes a night practice session, while tomorrow a warm up session.

The 12 Hours of Sebring will start on Saturday, March 19 at 10.45. Live tv coverage is provided by Speed Channel and Motors TV in Europe.

Claudio Berro, Maserati Corse Director
“Maserati Corse is pleased to have the opportunity to display our car in front of audiences in North America. This is the most important sales market for Maserati, so this development is very important for our sales. We received an invitation from IMSA to race and we accepted it.”

Andrea Bertolini
"Aston Martin is very fast and so is Corvette. I hope for the race that our car is very consistent. At the moment, the car is not easy because we don't have more time. We have a short time to practice."

Fabrizio De Simone
"It's a quite different track compared to the ones we have in Europe. The differences are mainly in the bumps and in the fast corners, especially Turn 1 and Turn 17. The different asphalts on this track. these are the main things...they are big differences. We have been testing since Monday until today. We are still working to get our setup for our car.”

Fabio Babini
"It's not easy to drive here for the cars are all differen. It's not easy for the bumps on the tracks. But I'm excited to drive at Sebring. American racing is very spirited racing."

Babini finished third in his category in Sebring, in 2002.

The partecipation of Maserati in the ALMS has been made possible thanks to the fundamental co-operation of important partners, including Pirelli and the team Risi Competizione, that will support Maserati logistically. The MC12 is using Pirelli Racing P Zero tyres, developed in 2004 and currently used on an exclusive basis in the FIA GT Championship. The successful cooperation between Maserati and Pirelli continues in the American Le Mans Series.



MC12 n. 35, chassis n. 03/15440


Andrea Bertolini/Fabrizio De Simone/Fabio Babini


19 - 2.00.381 – 38 laps (March 16th qualifyng session)


rainy, wet

Circuit length

3,7 miles

Starting grid

1. JJ Lehto, Marco Werner, Tom Kristensen 

Audi R8 (P1) 1:49.723, 121.397

2. Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro,  Allan McNish

Audi R8 (P1) 150.055, 121.030

3. Chris Dyson, Guy Smith, 

Lola EX257 AER (P1) 1:50.249, 120.817

4. James Weaver,  Butch Leitzinger, Andy Wallace

Lola EX257 AER (P1) 1:51.351, 119.622

5. Jon Field, Duncan Dayton, Gregor Fisken

Lola B05/40/AER (P2) 1:51.752, 119.192

6. Ian James, Chris McMurry, Jeff Bucknum,

Courage C-65 (P2) 1:54.669, 116.160

7. Phillip Bennett,  Ian Mitchell, Harold Primat

Courage C-65 Judd (P2) 1:55.986, 114.841

8. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta,  Jan Magnussen

Corvette C6-R (GT1) 1:57.347, 113.510

9. Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Max Papis

Corvette C6-R (GT1) 1:57.686, 113.183

10. Michael Lewis,  Tomy Drissi,  Bryan Willman,

Riley & Scott MRKIIIC (P1) 1:57.841, 113.034

11. Terry Borcheller, Johnny Mowlem, Ralf Kelleners

Saleen S7R (GT1) 1:57.881, 112.995

12. Joao Barbosa,  Didier Theys,  Michael Krumm

Dallara Nissan (P1) 1:58.001, 112.880

13. Peter Kox, Pedro Lamy, Stephane Sarrazin

Aston Martin DB9 (GT1) 1:58.370, 112.529

14. David Brabham,  Darren Turner, Stephane Ortelli

Aston Martin DB9 (GT1) 1:58.519, 112.387

15. Alex Figgie, David Empringham, Ryan Dalziel

Corvette C5-R (GT1) 1:59.409, 111.549

16. Tom Weickardt, Jean-Philippe Belloc, Michele Rugulo

Dodge Viper (GT1) 2:00.079, 110.927

17. Sebastien Bourdais, Christophe Bouchut, Fabricio Gollin

Ferrari 550 Maranello (GT1) 2:00.099, 110.909

18. William Binnie, Adam Sharpe, Robert Julien

Lola B05/42 McLaren (P2) 2:00.219, 110.798

19. Andrea Bertolini, Fabio Babini, Fabrizio De Simone

Maserati MC12 (GT1) 2:00.381, 110.649

20. Lucas Luhr,  Jorg Bergmeister

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:04.960, 106.594

21. Bill Auberlen, Robin Liddell,  Emanuele Naspetti

Panoz Esperante eGTLM (GT2) 2:05.047, 106.520

22. Timo Bernhard,  Romain Dumas, Sascha Maassen

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:05.078, 106.494

23. Johannes van Overbeek, Jon Fogarty, Darren Law

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:06.140, 105.597

24. Gunnar Jeannette, Scott Maxwell, Bryan Sellers

Panoz Esperante eGTLM (GT2) 2:06.479, 105.314

25. Randy Pobst, Ian Baas, Brian Cunningham

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:06.687, 105.141

26. Lonnie Pechnik, Seth Neiman, David Murry

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:07.304, 104.631

27. Pierre Ehret, Kevin Buckler, Andrew Davis

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:07.625, 104.368

28. Tony Burgess, Mike Rockenfeller, Martin Jensen

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:07.916, 104.131

29. Justin Jackson, Tim Sugden, Nic Jonsson

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:08.291, 103.826

30. Rick Sutherland, Nigel Smith,

Saleen S7R (GT1) 2:08.346, 103.782

31. Marc Hynes, Richard Dean, Patrick Pearce

TVR 400R (GT2) 2:08.347, 103.781

32. Warren Hughes, Jonny Kane, Lawrence Tomilson

TVR 400R (GT2) 2:08.729, 103.473

33. Juan Barazi,  Michael Vergers,  Andrew Thompson

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:09.022, 103.238

34. Tracy Krohn, Marc Sluszny,  Michael Cawley

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2) 2:09.110, 103.168

35. Clint Field, Gareth Ridpath, Liz Halliday

Lola B2K/40/Judd (P2) 2:10.031, 102.437

36. Tom Coronel, Marc Goosens, Donny Crevels

Spyker C-8 Spyder GT2 R (GT2) 2:10.840, 101.032

37. Steve Ivankovich, Spencer Pumpelly, Andy Lally

Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT2) 2:13.176, 100.018

38. Peter van Merkensteyn, Munsterhuis, Marino Franchitti

Spyker C-8 Spyder GT2 R (GT2) 2:16.733, 97.416

Maserati MC12 s/n 03/15440
Maserati MC12 s/n 03/15440
Maserati MC12 s/n 03/15440
Maserati MC12 #35 during Thursday's 1st practice .... 10th ...2nd GT1 .... Andrea Bertolini 2:54.889 in torrential rain
Maserati MC12 #35 during Thursday's 1st practice .... 10th ...2nd GT1 .... Andrea Bertolini 2:54.889 in torrential rain