Race 2: Bertolini just misses out on second
The Maserati Quattroporte Evo driver from Swiss Team seemed to have secured second place in Race 2 when he was rammed by another driver. The clash sent him spinning down the field and he eventually finished in thirteenth place. Bertolini’s bad luck also cost him championship points and he now sits in third.
Alessandro Pier Guidi, Bertolini’s team mate, did well to finish in sixth. The place was hard-earned after a problem with his brakes saw him tumble to the back of the pack.
The race was an exciting one. Cerqui’s BMW M3 E92 moved into an early lead. He was followed by Rangoni (Mercedes C63 AMG), Ferrara (Mercedes C63 AMG), Pigoli (Mercedes C63 AMG) , Biagi (BMW M3 E92) and Bertolini. Rangoni then managed to edge in front while Ferrara and Pigoli’s private scrap saw them get in each other’s way and lose a few places. Also coming off badly was Biagi, who paid the price for getting too close to the action.
Bertolini’s car was a shade more competitive after shedding 30 of the 75kg handicap at the end of Race 1. He managed to steer clear of the chaos and cruise into third place, with Herbert’s Mercedes C63 AMG close behind.
The drivers bunched up when the safety car came on. It was called for after Riccardo Bossi’s Audi RS4 had come to a standstill on the track, spilling oil. When things got going again, Herbert made the most of his car’s bigger and more powerful engine to accelerate past Bertolini. Things didn’t go Herbert’s way for long as he was hit with a technical hitch straight after a lost a couple of positions.
Bertolini then chased down Cerqui and powered past him on the inside to take second. Biagi also made the most of the opportunity to edge ahead of Cerqui.
Then came the incident that cost Bertolini: Biagi pushed too hard on the inside of the Quercia curve and clipped the Maserati driver’s left rear end. Both drivers spun: Bertolini into thirteenth and Biagi into eighteenth. The driver who benefited most was Pier Guidi. Having made a comeback after suffering braking problems, he now gained another two spots and ended up finishing sixth.
Race 1: An important placing
In the first race at round five of the International Superstars Series at Misano, Bertolini drove cutely in the Swiss Team car to finish sixth in a repeat of his qualifying performance. It was important not to stress the tyres too much, already straining under the extra weight, and this is exactly what he did.
In preparing for this event, Maserati’s official driver knew that he would have to adjust the attacking principles that saw him take a one-two at Donington. Here at Misano, the car weighed in at 1425kg. This was the result of a double performance penalty of 60kg and the 15kg assigned because the organisers judged the Quattroporte Evo to be too competitive. Things were tough for the Maseratis with lighter and more powerful Mercedes C63 AMG and the BMW M3 E92s, at their minimum weight of 1280kg, to content with. Given the state of play, all that Bertolini could hope for was a decent placing and he secured this, collecting six championship points along the way.
The other Swiss Team man, Alessandro Pier Guidi, could not match Bertolini’s display. However, the Tortona driver could not be blamed because he was nudged in the early stages and, from ninth on the grid, slipped a few places. Then, after coming out on top in a duel with Michela Cerruti in the team Romeo Ferraris Mercedes C63 AMG, his engine started to overheat. As an acceptable placing was out of the question, Pier Guidi opted to pull into the pits to avoid damaging the power unit any more.
The race itself was pretty uneventful. Cerqui, who took pole in the lightweight BMW M3 E92, led for the entire 16 laps. At the start he was tracked by Ferrara (Mercedes C63 AMG), Biagi (BMW M3 E92), Rangoni (Mercedes C63 AMG), Herbert (Mercedes C63 AMG), Pigoli (Mercedes C63 AMG) and Bertolini. Rangoni edged past Biagi but then suffered a few braking problems and dropped into fifth. Bertolini regained sixth spot and pulled into Herbert’s slipstream, aiming to overtake him. His strategy changed when Rangoni butted between him and the Englishman; Bertolini settled for finishing in the position he was in. Pier Guidi, the other Swiss Team driver, pulled out after five laps.
The quickest laps in Race 1 were set by the Mercedes C63 AMGs who took the top three places. The top speed reached was 214.7 km/h with Pier Guidi’s Quattroporte Evo posting a peak of 208.1 km/h.