WORLD OF COUPE CARS

Johnny Herbert And Maserati Gb Present The Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europ

19.December, 2005 @09:12     Coupe News

The launch took place at HR Owen Sports Cars in London, in front of 200 selected guests, who were able to admire the Maserati Trofeo GranSport which was raced at Silverstone during the F1 Grand Prix Weekend by Johnny Herbert and supermodel Jodie Kidd. The Audemars Piguet Dual Time Millenary Maserati watches, which were designed to celebrate Maserati 90 years of history and the collaboration between the two companies on the racing front, were also on display.

Andrea Antonnicola, Managing Director of Maserati GB Ltd, commented "The Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe is a fantastic race series which takes place on Europe’s most famous circuits. It’s a great opportunity to compete at international level, in a glamorous and extremely well organised setting, where the drivers and their sponsors can enjoy the exclusive Maserati hospitality."

Johnny Herbert, who joined Maserati in 2004 when the company returned to international motor racing with the MC12 in the FIA GT Championship, was one of the VIP drivers who were invited to race in the Trofeo Maserati in 2005. "The organisation of the Trofeo Maserati Championship is truly superb," he said. "You are looked after from the moment you arrive at the circuit, finding your car perfectly prepared and ready to go. I hope they will invite me again to race with Jodie next year!."39429-a-mas

TROFEO AUDEMARS PIGUET MASERATI EUROPE

The Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe is the one-make race championship organised by Maserati for Gentlemen Drivers, staged at some of Europe’s most prestigious circuits. A grid of up to 22 Trofeo GranSports will make their 2006 debut at Monza in April, with the last chequered flag falling at Valencia in October. There are seven races in total, plus a World Final event for the leading drivers in the series. The Trofeo GranSport is a lightened and tuned race version of the showroom GranSport coupe, punching out 425hp and reaching a top speed of over 180mph.

The 2006 edition of the Trofeo Maserati Europe retains the distinctive elements that have made it such a success in the past. Not the least of these has been the appearance of various ex-Formula One drivers in the series, including Johnny Herbert, Tiff Needell, Ivan Capelli and Ralph Firman during 2005, who all shared a drive with supermodel Jodie Kidd. For 2006 Maserati has improved some of the features that make competing in this one-make Championship such a unique pleasure. For instance, 60-minute endurance races have been introduced - these will increase the time drivers spend behind the wheel of their Trofeo GranSports. The mandatory pit stops have been retained, but time penalties and bonuses have been added to keep the races open and raise the excitement right through to the end of the season.

The Trofeo Maserati Europe provides the Gentleman Driver with the privilege of arriving at the circuit to find his race car waiting for him in perfect condition, with his own mechanic, track engineer and all other arrangements in place. Clothing is also provided.

Each Trofeo event takes place over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The first two days are for practice sessions and qualifying rounds, the race itself taking place on Sunday and organised as a mini-endurance event with a mandatory pit stop. Accommodation in four star hotels is also provided, as are tyres, fuel and other consumables over the race weekend.


In detail, the package includes:

- Entry to the championship which includes seven races and four test days before and during the season.
Use of a car for the race weekend
Tyres, fuel and any other consumable materials during the race weekend
Parts and labour for servicing the car during the race weekend
A mechanic at every race
A head mechanic for every six cars
A technical director
Accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night for the driver and a companion
Dinner on Friday and Saturday, lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for drivers and their guests.
Use of the hospitality motorhome
Race kit (overalls, boots etc)
Track clothing for the driver
Use of a spare car (depending on availability) in case of accidents where repairs cannot be made in a reasonable time


Comprehensive vehicle accident damage insurance with excess (up to €8000 for the first accident, up to €10000 for the second and up to €12000 after that).

The cost for the 2006 season (seven races plus four test days) is € 130,000.00 (+ taxes and/or legal charges). The cost for an additional driver, sharing, is €15,000.00 for the whole season or €3,000 for a single race. The Maserati final is upon invitation only and will be charged separately.

Vodafone Trofeo Maserati Europa 2006 - Provisional calendar

1 - 02 April Monza (I) - WTCC

2 - 07 May Silverstone (UK) - FIA GT

3 - 28 May Brno (CZ) - FIA GT

4 - 02 July Oschersleben (D) - FIA GT

5 - 29 July Spa (BE) - FIA GT (24h)

6 - 17 September Imola (RSM) - FIA GT

7 - 08 October Valencia (E) - WTCC

8 - Maserati Final – TBC

Drivers can also display their sponsors’ logos on the specified areas of the car (bonnet, boot, rear licence plate). However, these sponsors must not in any way clash with the official Trofeo ones.

For entries completed by 31/12/2005, drivers may choose the basic single colour of their car. After this date any colour requests will incur in an additional fee of € 15,000.



MASERATI TROFEO GRANSPORT

Overview

The Maserati Trofeo GranSport is the racing version of the Maserati GranSport. Built at the Maserati factory in Modena on the same production line as the GranSport road car, the Trofeo GranSport was designed to offer the competitor an easy-to-drive car that is rapid enough to more than stir the emotions on the race track.

The 4244cc V8 engine produces 425hp compared to the 400hp of the GranSport in a car that weighs 240kg less than the production car. The V8 is coupled to the six-speed Cambiocorsa transmission of the standard road car, which allows the driver to make the most of the power without compromising the torque. The car’s ride height has also been reduced by 50mm, lowering its centre-of-gravity and improving its handling.
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Technical specifications

Engine:

Total displacement: 4244 cc.
Maximum power: 425 hp at 7,200 rpm.
Maximum torque: 460 Nm/ 340 lb ft at 4,500 rpm.

Size and Weight

Length: 4523 mm (178.1 in)
Width: 1822 mm (71.7 in)
Height: 1305 mm (51.4 in)
Wheelbase: 2660 mm (104.7 in)

Front track: 1525 mm (60.0 in)

Rear track: 1538 mm (60.5)
Front rims: 9 x 18 in
Rear rims: 10 x 18 in
Fuel tank: 100 litres (21.9 imp. gallons)

Dry weight: 1340 kg (3014 lb)

Performance:

Top speed: over 180 mph

Car setup

In adapting the road car for the track, the engineers concentrated on various aspects. As with all competition cars, the engineers have worked hard to reduce weight, optimise the performance of the tyres (thanks to the tests conducted in collaboration with Pirelli from the earliest days of the project), the brakes, suspension and the gearbox, toughening them up for intense and prolonged use on the track. The car has been prepared in line with FIA regulations for participation in the GT championship, though the decision was taken not to make the modifications too extreme. The car has also been re-worked to ensure that it can be built on the standard Maserati production line.

The dry weight is 1340kg compared to the 1580kg of the standard model. This reduction was achieved through extensive work to remove all non-essential fittings in the interior and some from the exterior. The air conditioning unit was removed, as was the sound proofing and various smaller items. This work brought about a significant weight reduction. The side windows were also substituted with plexiglass panels, and the sound damping material was removed from the bonnet.

Like the road going version, the Maserati Trofeo GranSport is fitted with an F1 type gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles – the system is called Cambiocorsa. The ‘Sport’ setting used for the gearbox allows gearchanges to be made in less than 150 milliseconds. Some software parameters have been modified in order to optimise the response, for example, to improve the effect of engine braking.

The oil pump’s output has been increased for the rigours of competition, while the set-up of the differential has been altered to maker the car easier to manage on race tyres, and more fun to drive. Making the vehicle as safe as possible was one of the main priorities: only the highest quality and best performing components were used. The clearest evidence of this is in the braking system and the roll-over bar.

Brembo brake components have been used - during the FIA GT Championship they have consistently provided reliable braking and unparalleled resistance to fade.

To guarantee the highest levels of crash safety in the cabin, the Maserati Trofeo GranSport is equipped with an OMP roll-cage that conforms to FIA regulations, an automatic extinguisher, an anatomic seat with a six-point safety belt and an FIA approved secure fuel tank of a type usually found only on aircraft.

A lot of time was spent on the track during the Maserati Trofeo project, with the engineers aiming to achieve a reliable yet high performing set-up on all types of circuit. They focused most of their attention on the suspension. The flexible joints were removed, some elements were redesigned and the shock absorbers were modified - thanks to the collaboration of Sachs. The springs, now specially calibrated, were adjusted, reducing the ride height by around 50 millimetres.
All the cars have identical engines with certified torque and power. The only changes to the V8 have been made to suit the track: the car now sports a revised exhaust system to bring it up to FIA levels; a track-ready oil sump and a reworked ignition and injection system.