The circuit of Shanghai, China, brought down the curtain on the 2012 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series. At the end of six gripping rounds held in three continents, (Europe, America and Asia) it was Renaud Kuppens, from Konvex Motorsport, who took the title. The season has been a remarkable one for the Belgian as he claimed the Overall and Team crowns, the award for notching up the most pole positions as well as pocketing the Trofeo Europa.
The year of intense racing saw an average of 24 cars line up at Jarama, Portimao, Imola, Paul Ricard, Sonoma and, fittingly, the cutting-edge Formula 1 circuit of Shanghai. In all 25 Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos lined up and 35 drivers from 15 countries (Italy, Morocco, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Belgium, Monaco, Australia, Venezuela, Austria, Switzerland and China) took part. The final round was held in China; a first for this single-make series but not for Maserati: in 2004, 2005 and 2007 the Maserati MC12 turned out here in the FIA GT.
The last race in the championship was won by Giorgio Sernagiotto. He profited from Kuppens' puncturing when leading by a healthy margin. In second finished Alan Simoni, ahead of Mathijs Bakker - taking his first pole of the season. Fourth went to Azcarate and fifth to Andreas Segler.
The Maserati Trofeo MC World Series closing ceremony was held at the Maserati Pudong Downtown Showroom, the marque's home in Shanghai. As well as Kuppens, awards were bestowed on: Riccardo Ragazzi/Alan Simoni (Trofeo), Richard Denny (Over 50), Adrien De Leener (Under 30), Eric Lo e Shaun Thong (Best Asian Drivers).
There was huge interest in a marque as famous as Maserati over the entire weekend, one on which the company organised a packed press conference at the circuit's hospitality suite. Clients were also able to try out models from the current range and visit the exhibition spaces devoted to merchandising, an area enriched by the inclusion of a few choice cars, among them a Maserati GranCabrio Fendi. The enthusiasm for Maserati here is backed up by the figures with China now ranking as the marque second-biggest market after the US.
Eurosport will transmit highlights of the two Maserati Trofeo races from China during its 'Motorsport weekend' programme. The show will go out this evening (Sunday) at 23.30 with a 26-minute highlights package to be shown on Thursday 8 November at 18.15 on Eurosport 2.
|09||Pierre De Leener||+1:29.659|