Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Classic Mercedes-Benz: Supercharged!

Mercedes-Benz 770 "Grand Mercedes", 1938-1942. When this imposing car was introduced at the Berlin Motor Show in 1938, there was no need to worry about its image – this had already been built by its predecessor. The technical highlights of this car, newly developed from the ground up, included an oval tubular frame, independent wheel suspension with coil springs at the front, a De Dion axle at the rear and a newly developed five-speed synchronized transmission. The car was powered by a [...
Mercedes-Benz 500 K “Autobahn Courier” (W 29). Built in the special vehicle production unit of the Sindelfingen plant, this vehicle made its debut in 1934 at the International Motor and Motorcycle Show in Berlin, as the first variant of the new 500 K model. Its aerodynamically designed body, with gently dropping rear end, marked the starting point for the development of further powerful luxury cars with streamlined bodies. The culmination of this development work came in the form of the 540 K [...]







Mercedes-Benz 500 K sports sedan, 1935







Mercedes-Benz Model 500 K (W 29 series, 1934 to 1936) in the Luxury Roadster version, year of manufacture 1936



Sporty luxury car: Mercedes-Benz 500 K "Spezial-Roadster", displayed at the 1936 International Motor Show in Berlin.







Targa Florio, Sicily, April 2, 1922. A supercharged model was used for the first time in this race: the Mercedes 6/40/65 hp (4 cylinders, series cars up to 1.5 liters with supercharger). The photograph shows the driver Paul Scheef and navigator Jakob Krauss, who took third place.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GAS PRICES IN DAYTON TO FINALLY DROP!

When in Myrtle Beach, SC,  last week gas was $2.21 a gallon or less. What a difference when compared to OHIO PRICES. How can problems at one refinery cause so much dislocation? Sounds fishy to me!


Gas prices across the Midwest are dropping now that the refinery troubles in Indiana that caused costs at the pump to spike earlier this month are fixed.
Motorists in Michigan and other Great Lakes states can expect to see prices plummet 20 to 50 cents a gallon over the next two weeks, according to Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst.
"As gas stations buy cheaper gasoline, they will pass savings along to motorists, but they will also attempt to recoup margin losses sustained from the unprecedented spike in wholesale prices that occurred two weeks ago," he said in a statement today.
The average gas price in Michigan today, as of 2:20 p.m., was $2.741, according to the Web site. That's down from $2.812 Monday and $2.984 last week.
The largest crude distillation unit at BP's refinery in Whiting, Ind., broke down; it handles more than half of the refinery's capacity. That caused gas prices in metro Detroit to skyrocket more than 50 cents in a week.
BP announced today that the facility was back on track.
"BP has safely restarted a large crude distillation unit that had been shut down since Aug. 8 for unscheduled repair work. Restart of this unit is increasing the refinery's fuel production, with output ramping up over time. The rest of the refinery continues to operate safely. In the meantime, the company continues to meet its contractual fuel supply obligations," the company said in a statement today.
Less than a week before the refinery shutdown, GasBuddy.com predicted that fuel prices would drop to $1.99 or below by Christmas in 20 states, including Michigan. DeHaan told the Free Press in an e-mail that he still expects that to happen.

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Market Correction" Consequences for American Automakers Doing Business in China

From Detroit Free Press, an article by Greg Gardner.

Investors' wild roller coaster ride dove in early, panicked selling and enjoyed a mid-day climb, only to be whiplashed through an extremely shaky final hour -- all sparked by deepening uncertainty over how severe China's economic slowdown could be.
So what does it mean for those whose livelihood is tied to the auto industry?
It's natural for Americans to wonder why this is happening when auto sales in the U.S. are running at the strongest pace in more than a decade. The short answer is that GM and Ford are increasingly dependent on Chinese operations. In GM's case, the company sells more vehicles in China with its partners than it does in the U.S.
As a result, the Detroit Three automakers' stock fell by greater percentages Monday than the broader market indices.
GM has sold more vehicles in China than North America for most of this decade. There's no question that falling sales in China will weaken GM and Ford earnings for the second half. Fiat Chrysler has a much smaller presence in China.
The silver lining here is that North America is the overwhelming profit center, acting as a shock absorber for the turmoil overseas.  Whether it's enough to restore confidence among investors still fretting about China won't be known for weeks, if not months.
Perspective was hard to come by Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 100 points a minute at the opening bell. Trading algorithms were driving an avalanche of selling. At the close, the Dow was down 588.40, or 3.6%  after the worst week in four years.
The S&P 500 plunged 77.68, or 3.9% to 1,893.21, while NASDAQ, which is loaded with technology stocks, tumbled 179.79, or 3.8% to 4,526.25.
GM shares, which fell from $29.60 to as low as $24.62 in the first 30 minutes, closed at $27.80, down 6.1%. Ford nosedived from $13.86 to $10.44, and trading even halted briefly. Then Ford closed at $13.19, down 4.8%.
“Several stocks were halted for a few minutes this morning due to the volatility in the stock market,” Ford said in a statement. “Ford stock resumed trading shortly afterward.”
FCA, which has only a marginal presence in China, plummeted from $14.57 to $12.56 shortly after the market opened, and closed at $13.74, 5.7%  for the day.
The sell-off was triggered by more bad news in China, where the key index on the Shanghai stock exchange fell 8.5%,  one of the sharpest one-day declines in a volatile period that began in early July.
Despite the Chinese government's decision two weeks ago to devalue its currency, the yuan, and to use its substantial cash reserves to buy shares selectively, it has not been enough to reverse a downward trend that has come after a meteoric rise when China's stock market soared 150% from July 2014 to June 2015.
Sales of new cars in China have been slowing for several months, and many manufacturers have dropped prices to stimulate demand, with not much success.
For more perspective, consider that China is essentially the only other part of the world where GM and Ford are making a profit.
The main lesson for all multinational corporations is that China, guided by an unelected, central planning Communist Party government, can't sustain an illusion forever that a market-driven economy only grows. Despite currency devaluations, government bans on executives selling shares or pumping a seemingly limitless supply of cash to prop a falling stock market, markets will expand and contract. Those of us who have been raised in an authentically capitalist economy take that as a given.

Porsche 919 Hybrids at the Nurburgring, August 28-30. FIA World Endurance, Round 4.

FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), LMP1 Preview, Round 4, Nürburgring (DE)
Home race for Le Mans winner Porsche – focussing on championship points
Stuttgart. Porsche is going to race the 919 Hybrid for the first time on home soil. From August 28 to 30 the fourth of eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be held at the Nürburgring. The six-hour race in the Eifel mountains is the first ever appearance in Germany for the WEC which has run since 2012. In the field of 31 cars, Porsche is entering two of its Porsche 919 Hybrids in the top category LMP1 (class one Le Mans Prototypes). The racing research laboratory for future sports car technology is powered by a downsizing two-litre V4-cylinder turbo charged petrol engine and an electric engine which is fed by two energy recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). This unique and ground-braking power train temporarily turns the 919 into a four-wheel drive car with around 1,000 hp system performance.

After two six-hour races, at Silverstone (GB) and Spa (BE), the Porsche 919 Hybrid went on to win the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 14th. It was the 17th overall victory for Porsche at this endurance classic; no other brand has such a tally. For the winning drivers – Earl Bamber (NZ), Nico Hülkenberg (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB) – Le Mans was the last race in a 919 at least for this season because Porsche doesn’t enter a third prototype in the remaining rounds of the World Championship. Nevertheless the original winners’ car will be at the Nürburgring, exhibited at the “Ring Boulevard”, and the drivers will be around too. Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 RSR, class GTE Am) and Nick Tandy (Oreca 05, LMP2) race in the WEC while Nico Hülkenberg will be visiting the team.  

On the race track Porsche retains its permanent driver line-up. The number 17 car will be shared by Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS). These three drivers came second at Le Mans to secure a one-two victory for Porsche. The number 18 sister car will be in the hands of the trio which won the first race ever with the 919 at the 2014 season finale in Brazil: Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE), pole setters at Le Mans this year.  

In addition to the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s two race wins (Interlagos 2014, Le Mans 2015) the car has scored nine further podiums – four second and five third place finishes. The car has entered eleven races in total since the beginning of the 2014 season and started from pole position seven times. In 2015 so far, a 919 took pole in every race. At Le Mans the Porsche team even locked the grid with a one-two-three. After three out of eight rounds, and with the double points for the one-two victory in Le Mans, Porsche leads the manufacturers’ World Championship, 140 points ahead of Audi (124) followed by Toyota (71). In the drivers’ standings Dumas/Jani/Lieb are in fourth place, followed by Bernhard/Hartley/Webber in fifth.

After the three 919s at Le Mans appeared in three different colours, the two race cars are now white again. This is not the only visible change: around 80 per cent of the bodywork is new. An aerodynamic package for high downforce has replaced the Le Mans low downforce configuration.

Quotes before the race:
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “We are looking forward to our home race at the Nürburgring very much. The WEC takes on the great heritage of the 1000 kilometre races, in which Porsche was so successful and we will see many fans and Porsche employees on site. The brand and the “Ring” have very close ties, not least because the neighbouring “Nordschleife” is still the ultimate test ground for our road-going sports cars. After we scored the one-two win at the season’s highlight at Le Mans, our focus is now on World Championship points.”

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1: “For the 919, preparation for Le Mans was the first priority. The aero package with which we began the season in Silverstone was a targeted compromise on our way to the 24 Hours. Only when this configuration was in place, did we go on to develop an aero package with higher downforce for later. This was initially tested from August 18 to 20 at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona and will go racing for the first time at the Nürburgring.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “We have been using the weeks after Le Mans for technical development work as well as implementing some structural changes we had planned. For months the team was working to the limits. Thanks to the additional manpower we took on board to prepare and operate the third car in Spa and at Le Mans, we have now been able to set up a test team. This should help to relieve the crew to a certain extend for the rest of the season. There are five six-hour races to come in which we will fight for every single championship point.”

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid no. 17:
Timo Bernhard (34, Germany): “I definitely have strong ties with the Nürburgring. This is because it is close to home but also due to the successes I have enjoyed there. Each of the five overall victories at the 24-Hours there was a milestone for me. Somehow things have often worked out for me in the Eifel mountains. In 2000/2001 I did four Carrera Cup races – and I won three of them from pole. There are some really challenging corners with some of them having camber hanging to the outside. You have to think carefully of how to position your car there. I like that. I’m sure our home race is going to be a great event.”

Brendon Hartley (25, New Zealand): “We have high expectations for the rest of the season and the target has clearly moved to the World Championship. We had a successful test at the Nürburgring and the boys and girls in Weissach have been working hard on updates for the race. I personally love the Nürburgring track and considering Mark won there convincingly in F1, and Timo has fond memories of winning the 24-Hours at the Nordschleife five times, I think it's fair to say we are excited and confident about racing there. I'm also sure we will see many Porsche fans turn up to see us compete on home soil.”

Mark Webber (38, Australia): “I always loved racing at the Nürburgring in F1. I won my first Grand Prix there in 2009 which, of course, was incredibly special for me. The Nürburgring has got character about it, with some old school camber changes and old kerbs. The best part is turns 5 and 6, the fast left which goes into the tight right. It will be interesting to take the 919 Hybrid around there and see how it fares compared to the F1 car. In the Eifel mountains the weather is often unpredictable and you have to be on your toes and make quick decisions to respond to the changing and tricky track conditions. It is also Porsche’s home race and I think the support is going to be pretty amazing for the team. The fans there have always been very passionate about motorsport and there is a lot going on in the campsites around the track with BBQs and parties.”

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid no. 18
Romain Dumas (37, France): “I’m very much looking forward to finally get into the 919 again after the long break. The track with its many corners and less straights is not going to be an easy task for us. I hope the new high downforce aero package helps us to stand the strong competition. After we have had such a difficult race in Le Mans because of balance problems, the gang from car number 18 wants to get in more good results like we did early in the season.”

Neel Jani (31, Switzerland): “14 years ago, when I was only 17, I had my first race at the Nürburgring and then went there again and again. It was kind of typical for the Eifel region that at the test at the end of July it was rather cold and sometimes wet. Let’s see what we get for the race. For sure the 919 will be well prepared and our car number 18 crew wants revenge for the disappointment of Le Mans. Before we were unlucky at the 24-Hours where we started from pole, we had two good races. We want to fight for the World Championship.”

Marc Lieb (35, Germany): “I really can’t wait to be with the WEC at the Nürburgring. The track has great tradition and for me just belongs to the World Championship calendar. I like the circuit very much and we have had a good test there. It will be an exciting race, because lapping slower cars is relatively difficult. The track layout has lots of corners but hardly any long straights for overtaking. Personally I have very close ties with the Nürburgring. Be it the 24-Hours or product development – the track has played a strong part in my Porsche career.”

Fact and figures:
• Porsche and endurance racing at the Nürburgring are a story of success. The so-called 1000 kilometre race has taken place 47 times between 1953 and 2014. A total of twelve overall wins makes Porsche the most successful brand – the first victory dates back to 1967, the latest one to 2010.
• At the Nürburgring 24-Hours on the Nordschleife Porsche has scored eleven overall wins and ranks second behind BMW (19). Amongst the current LMP1 Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard took the winner’s laurels five times, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb four times each.
• On the 20.6 kilometre long Nordschleife the Porsche 918 Spyder holds the record for road legal sports cars. Marc Lieb was at the wheel in September 2013 and it took him six minutes and 57 seconds to secure that record. 
• A lap on the track used by the WEC is 5.137 km long.
• WEC rules call for averaging the fastest laps of two drivers in qualifying.
• In normal racing mode (without any safety car periods), the Porsche 919 Hybrid must refuel every 33 laps.
• Refuelling and wheel changing may only be made sequentially, not at the same time. Only two mechanics may work simultaneously when wheel changing. That takes a lot longer than in Formula One, for example. 
• Drivers are normally only changed when new tyres are needed. 
• One set of Michelin tyres should last for one to two tank fills.
• The amount of energy that the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use per lap is limited. At the Nürburgring it may consume 4.67 megajoule electricity and 1.423 kilogram fuel.
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid has a power system that produces around 1,000 HP. Over 500 HP come from the two-litre V4 turbo petrol engine, while the e-machine, fed by the recovery systems, delivers more than 400 HP.
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid accelerates from 0-100 km/h within 2 seconds and takes 4.5 seconds from 0-200 km/h.
• At the fastest part of the Nürburgring the 919 reaches ca. 275 km/h. 
• Due to the aerodynamic downforce, and, therefore, the increased load on the wheels, the contact patch of the Michelin tyres can double. Normally they have a width of 310 mm. 
• Four sorts of tyres can be used: slick tyres for dry conditions, and a hybrid tyre (no profile either but softer cover) for mixed conditions and wets and full wets for heavy or extreme rain. The full wet tyre manages to push up to 120 litres of water per second out of the way. 
• The Porsche 919 Hybrid was designed and built at the Porsche AG Development Centre in Weissach. 230 team members work there.


TV: 
Eurosport covers the race action live from 18:00 to 19:15 hrs CEST. 30 minute summaries will be broadcasted on Wednesday (September 2) at 10:30 hrs on Eurosport and on Thursday (September 3) at 10:30 hrs on Eurosport 2.

LMP1 Schedule:
Friday, August 28
12:00 – 13:30 free practice
15:00 – 15:30 FIA WEC press conference
16:30 – 18:00 free practice

Saturday, August 29
09:30 – 10:30 free practice
14:30 – 14:50 qualifying LMP1 & LMP2
15:00 – 15:30 FIA WEC press conference
18:20 – 18:50 Meet the Team for media, Porsche Team and Media hospitality

Sunday, August 30
10:45 – 11:15 autograph session (pit lane)
13:00 – 19:00 race
19:15 – 19:45 FIA WEC press conference

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Porsche 911 RSR Wins at Virginia International Raceway, Tudor United SportsCar Championship

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche North America: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy; Joerg Bergmeister, Earl Bamber


Tudor United SportsCar Championship, round 8 in Danville/USA

Fourth straight victory for the 911 RSR – Porsche now leads all classifications

Stuttgart. After scoring four wins in a row, title defender Porsche has extended its lead in the manufacturers’ classification of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship (GTLM class). On the Virginia International Raceway, Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France) won the Oak Tree Grand Prix on Sunday with the 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. Victory at round eight of the hotly-contested North American sports car championship marks the third straight win after Bowmanville and Road America for Le Mans overall winner Nick Tandy and his teammate Patrick Pilet. Their achievement has elevated Pilet to the top of the drivers’ standings. Moreover, their Porsche North America squad, which fields the 911 RSR at races in the USA and Canada, has taken over the lead of the team classification. Clinching second at the wheel the sister 911 RSR, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) rounded off a perfect third double victory of the season for Porsche. 

Porsche also secured the “DEKRA Green Challenge Award”, presented to the fastest, most environmentally clean and efficient GTLM competitor: Like in Watkins Glen, the 911 RSR driven by Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy was distinguished as the GT car with the best overall efficiency. The Porsche 911 RSR features the smallest capacity of all competing GT cars. Customers all over the world praise its road-going 911 GT3 sibling for its outstanding ratio of performance and fuel consumption. 

Nick Tandy headed into the race from pole position on the 5.263-kilometre Virginia International Raceway, which is located in the rural idyll of the US state of Virginia on the North Carolina border. The Briton received his finishing touches as a race driver in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, and at Le Mans this year he celebrated the greatest success of his career to date. Tandy is the first GT driver since the Tudor United SportsCar Championship began in 2014 to have secured the front grid spot for a race three times. After shocking his rivals the previous day with his top time in qualifying, he made a cracking start into the race and opened a substantial gap in the first laps. Before handing the 911 RSR off to Patrick Pilet, he had laid the foundation for a commanding lights-to-flag victory. By the time the duo took the flag after 92 laps, they had built up a comfortable lead of more than 27 seconds over the tight and well-balanced field. 

Initially, things did not run quite as smoothly for the second Porsche North America-run 911 RSR with the starting number 912. Jörg Bergmeister, who was barely a tenth of a second slower in qualifying than polesitter Nick Tandy, lined up beside his team colleague at the front of the field, but had to relinquish a position right after the start. When Earl Bamber, as the second Le Mans overall winner in the team, took the wheel of the 911 RSR, he thrilled fans with a spectacular pursuit through the pack. When he rejoined the race in fifth after a pit stop, he picked off one rival after the other, and, in one final overtaking feat, he conquered second place. While he was busy fending off hefty attacks from the opposition for the last half hour of racing, Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA) brought home seventh place at the wheel of the Falken Tire customer team’s 911 RSR. At Watkins Glen, they scored the first win of the season for Porsche and set in motion the impressive winning streak that has put Porsche in the lead of all GTLM classifications of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship with two races left on this season’s calendar at Austin and Road Atlanta.

In the GTD class, the Porsche 911 GT America campaigned by the Seattle/Alex Job Racing customer team secured third place. At the wheel were drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and Ian James (USA). So far this season, the pair has won the Sebring and Detroit races.

Comments after the race
Steffen Höllwarth, Programme Manager Tudor United SportsCar Championship: “What a day! It doesn’t get better than this. Every team member has contributed to this success. Although we were second and third in qualifying yesterday, we were the last to leave the pits in the evening, and this morning we were the first at the track. This effort has paid dividends. We found a super setup for our 911 RSR, which was definitely the key to our success. A very special thanks to Michelin, as well, for the excellent tyres.”
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “Thanks to the whole crew. Our 911 RSR was perfect. The race was not as easy as it may have seemed for us. On the contrary, it was really tough. We had to be fast, we couldn’t make any mistakes, and we had to keep a close eye on the fuel gauge. But once again the team gave us excellent support. Nick’s first stint was fantastic and he held the Ferrari at bay. That was the basis of our success. Starting tomorrow, we will turn our attention to the next race at Austin – but right now we’re going to celebrate.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “This victory means a great deal to me. To win three races in a row is difficult in any championship. But it is especially gratifying when you achieve this with Porsche in one of the world’s most competitive sports car series against such strong opposition. First victory at Le Mans, then the wins here – it looks like 2015 is turning into a very special year for me as a race driver. I’m enjoying the success and I’ve not had enough of it yet.” 
Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Our first stint was hard and afterwards we had to make up the lost positions. Our crew’s perfect pit stops helped. I immediately tried to put as much pressure on as possible. While I was running in third, I knew I wouldn’t get too many chances to make the double victory perfect for Porsche. So when that opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it.”
Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Another banner day for Porsche. You can’t get much better than that. Unfortunately I lost a position at the start, but the 911 RSR improved as the race progressed, which enabled Earl to close the gap to the front. The second straight one-two for Porsche – it can continue like this.”

The ninth of ten races in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship is contested on 19 September on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin/Texas.  

Race result
GTLM class
1. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 92 laps
2. Bamber/Bergmeister (NZ/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 92
3. Kaffer/Fisichella (D/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 92
4. Edwards/Luhr (USA/D), BMW Z4 GTE, 92
5. Auberlen/Werner (USA/D), BMW Z4 GTE, 92
6. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette, 92
7. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 91
8. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 91

GTD class
1. Sweedler/Bell (USA/USA), Ferrari 458 Italia, 88 laps
2. Nielsen/Wittmer (DK/CDN), Aston Martin, 87
3. Farnbacher/James (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT America, 87
4. Palttala/Marsal (SF/USA), BMW Z4, 87
5. Haase/von Moltke (D/USA), Audi R8 LMS, 87
6. Keen/McNeil (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT America, 87

This is the Tudor United SportsCar Championship 
The Tudor United SportsCar Championship is a sports car race series contested in the USA and Canada which was run in 2014 for the first time. The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), P (Prototype) and PC (Prototype Challenge). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT America contesting the GTD class

Maserati Series Racing at the Virginia International Raceway: A win for Giuseppe Fascicolo





Fascicolo's first Maserati Trofeo World Series win
Monti stretches his lead
Alton (Us), 22 August 2015 – Giuseppe Fascicolo has secured his first ever victory in the Maserati Trofeo World Series. The Treviso-born driver claimed the second race in the fourth round of the Maserati-run series being held at the Virginia International Raceway in the USA.
Fascicolo eventually came out on top in a race full of incident with cars often careering off the track; the safety car was called for three times. Second across the line was Romain Monti who, thanks to his win in Friday's Race 1 and despite carrying 50kg extra weight, increased his overall lead over Riccardo Ragazzi (who finished sixth). The advantage is now 46 points. Taking third was another Italian, Alessandro Iazzetti, as he claimed his best ever Maserati Trofeo finish. He made the most of his starting second spot, given that the Race 1 finishing order had been inverted for the second event. Iazzetti even held the lead for a few laps before being caught by Fascicolo on lap 13.
Carlo Curti slid to fourth after a lap 11 clash with Tom Long. The American came off worse and his puncture saw him pull out after lining up on pole. Fifth went to Patrick Byrne, who finished just ahead of Ragazzi. The Italian was in the running for a podium slot until a tussle with Long saw him edge onto the grass. In seventh came Andreas Segler, ahead of Jeffrey CourtneyBarrie Baxter and Gianmarco Raimondo (with Chase livery, sponsored by Chase Auto Finance). Freddie Hunt, son of 1976 F1 world champion, James, came in eleventh. The Englishman got off to a fine start and was in fourth by lap 2 before being overtaken by Long. He lost more ground when he shot off the track and, in trying to climb back through the field, collided with Adrien De Leener, forcing the Belgian out and resulting in the officials summoning the safety car for the second time. Hunt was slapped with a drive-through.
The third time the race was suspended was on lap 9 so that Mauro Trentin's car could be towed away after contact with Richard Denny that cost the Australian 25 seconds.
Round 5 in the Maserati Trofeo World Series will be on 25 October at Suzuka, Japan. Before leaving America, a few GTS-spec GranTurismo MCs will compete in the closing Pirelli World Challenge event. This will be held at Laguna Seca, USA, on 13 September.
”It's incredible”, declared Giuseppe Fascicolo. ”I have finally crossed the line first. It is a win that comes at the end of a marvellous race with lots of attacks. I just missed out on the podium in Race 1 and so I really wanted this victory. There was a lot going on out there today and I did well to steer clear of it. When I was in second I attacked at the right time, making the most of my rival's indecision to strike. I was quick over the final laps and was conscious that my first Maserati Trofeo win was there for the taking...”
Highlights of the VIR races can be seen on Motors TV across Europe from 5 September. In Italy, they can be viewed on Odeon 24, channel 177, and on Rete Economy, Sky channel 512, from 13 September. In North America, www.torque.com will broadcast the race package.
Race 2 result:
1 Giuseppe Fascicolo – 42:19.900
2 Romain Monti – 42:20.743
3 Alessandro Iazzetti – 42:21.316
Overall classification
1 Romain Monti p. 121
2 Riccardo Ragazzi p. 75
3 Lino Curti p. 54