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Maseratis in racing after 1967

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by Merak1974, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    #1 Merak1974, Sep 11, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
    Everybody knows of course that Maserati's last F1 victory came at the Kyalami track (South African GP) in 1967 with Pedro Rodriguez at the wheel of a Cooper-Maserati T81, and that John Surtees won the Mexican GP the year before on a similar car.

    But, what were Maserati's (and Maserati-engined) racing entries and results after 1967 and before the MC12 appeared in the GT1 class in 2004?

    Does a systematic overview exist, or can someone provide such an overview?

    The few things I know are that:

    - The Citroën SM (with its C-114 (Merak) Maserati engine) had some success in rally, e.g. won the 1971 Rallye du Maroc;
    - the Ligier JS2 (with C-114 (Merak) Maserati engine) did well at the 1974 Le Mans race (8th place overall) and also finished in 1973, and that the JS2 also did well in the Tour de France.

    Questions:

    - Was the GP4 Bora ever entered in any race?
    - Anyone raced Meraks?
    - Surely there must have been some racing-Biturbos?
    - Apart from mono-marque races for the Barchetta (and also the Ghibli Cup?), were these cars ever entered in regular racing classes?
    - What about the Shamal and the 3200GT?

    It would be very interesting to learn more about any exploits at international as well as national levels, and even club racing!

    Cheers,
    Gabriel
     
  2. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Gabriel,

    Marc is the guy to ask about the Thepenier Boras. The story is one of fraud and scandal I'm afraid. It was not in the Le Mans race but I believe it was at least entered in another race series but I think the financial scandal ended that effort.

    You also might want to do some reading over on Enrico's website.

    With respect to the early Biturbos, yes there were quite a few Italians that entered them in race series. I think there are a couple of interesting articles on that on Enrico's site.
    I know that the US distributor(s) did enter some Biturbos in limited racing. I heard the stories personally from them but I don't know that there's much of anything published about that. Remember this is in pre-internet days.

    The Ghibli Open Cup cars saw post factory cup race duty in a number of series. Google the Italian GT race series from the mid to later 1990s and you should find some results.

    It is rumoured that one of the big European (scandinavian) TV Sports networks covered the the original factory GOC series and has quite a bit of video. I'd sure like to see that!

    There also was a British based race team that fielded one called "Naughty Neighbors" something or other. Lot's of cigars and large breasted babes splayed over the hood of a Ghibli D Cup err ah Open cup car ... I've heard the inside story on that one and it was pretty much of a farce. From what I've observed in the racing results theses cars (modified) did pretty well in the Italian GT series against Porsche GT3, Ferrari 355 Challenge, Corvette etc. cars.

    Then into the next century I think you mostly know about that stuff. Over here a couple of Trofeo Lite cars were fielded by Ferrari of Washington and Algar with not such great results. The word I got is that it was a terrible race car. FOW had won before that with Ferrari Challenge 360 GT cars so they knew what they were doing in the racing scene.

    The MC12 made less than spectacular cameo appearances over here whereas in Europe it was a great success.

    I don't think that the Barchetta was involved in any racing besides the original factory cup series or club events but I'm certainly no authority on that point.

    More recently there are a group of Shamals (many heavily modified) in Japan that have been involved in a number of racing series. Check Enrico's website for the details as well as links to some Youtube videos of that. I think someone in the Netherlands also tried to race a Shamal.

    Bob S.
     
  3. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    Thank you Bob: that was a lot of information!

    Following some of your advice and some your cues, I did a bit of search on the web. There seems to have been some (but not tremendously many...) attempts at racing Maseratis during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, but with rather meagre success.

    1974 was of course a good year with the Ligier-Maserati (JS2 with Merak engine) winning the Tour de France outright and getting 8th place at Le Mans.

    Then it seems one really had to wait until the Ghibli II, which was quite successful in Italian GT from 1995 to 2001, inter alia winning two races overall in 1997 (Italian GP Varano and Italian GP Vallelunga), plus several class wins and various podiums during that period. It seems that the Italian series almost became the playground of Porsche in the late 1990s, but the Ghibli II did well against them and the F355...

    Is that really it?! Must be some other interesting stories out there...

    Gabriel
     
  4. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    They really did leave racing in earnest quite some time ago. I think that the MC12 can best be described as a great marketing campaign. The MC12 is impressive none the less. Otherwise, it boils down to a few cup series promoted by the factory (nothing wrong with that) and precious few privateers launching some meager efforts.

    It's still a small company with very limited resources. It has nowhere near the talent pool it had "back in the day" in comparison to it's then rivals. Without Ferrari I really doubt anything remotely approaching the MC12 would have been possible.

    It is still a great heritage and they are beautiful and great automobiles. I have 3 of them.
     
  5. 3500 GT

    3500 GT Formula 3

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    ...the MC12 has a very impressive GT1 record... winning the Manufactures Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Very impressive results from a less than fully funded factory sponsorship. The cars are still fantastically quick and winning to this day on a chassis that is more than 7 years old in development. That is quite something.

    And they are still kicking ass, and frankly embarrising Ferrari from which it was born.

    Enzo is still dead.

    ~Ciao
     
  6. Michele

    Michele Formula Junior

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    #6 Michele, Sep 14, 2010
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    The Bora Group IV was entered in several races, including Le Mans and the Tour de France, but never started in any race. The paperwork with the car shows several entries and there was a special class created for the Group IV Bora in the Tour de France. Unfortunately, driver Migault got involved in a car accident before he could drive in the Tour... so: it never raced.

    It made several appearences however in the Shell Historic Challenge. In 1999, Jean Guikas drove #3000 at Spa (top 10) and Vallelunga (win). In 2005, he entered the car at Pau (crash) and in 2007 he won in the rain at Le Mans during´Le Mans story´.
     
  7. Michele

    Michele Formula Junior

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    The Vitaphone team Maserati´s MC12 are among the most succesfull Maserati racers ever. They won the FIA GT manufacturer´s Championship in 2005,the drivers Championship in 2006,2007,2008 and 2009 and the team Championship in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. At this moment, Vitaphone drivers Bartels and Bertolini lead the FIA GT1 Championship 2010 and team Vitaphone leads the team Championship.
     
  8. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    All true but not without Ferrari.
     
  9. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    I thought there was something about the team manger disappearing with the funds as well?

    Vintage racing doesn't count as racing history but I am glad that they allow it to compete.

    Bob S.
     
  10. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    #10 Merak1974, Sep 14, 2010
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    Yes, the MC12 has been a formidable success in racing.

    Recently, the Gran Turismo GT4 has also delivered several good results in the European GT4 Cup, including a string of podiums in 2009 and victory in both races of the 2010 round at Paul Ricard.

    However, the Gran Turismo GT4 has been only entered in a few races this year, so the championship itself is out of reach for Maserati.

    Cheers,
    Gabriel
     
  11. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    #11 Merak1974, Sep 14, 2010
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    I understand that the MC12 project could not have been realized without Ferrari. Fine.

    But, what has Ferrari's involvement actually been - if any - in Maserati Corse and teams like Vitaphone Racing and Hegersport? My understanding is that Ferrari is not (and has not been) involved at all...

    Cheers,
    Gabriel
     
  12. Michele

    Michele Formula Junior

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    #12 Michele, Sep 14, 2010
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    That's very true. When you really look back on the whole MC12 project, the only conclusion can be that Ferrari did not want to race with the Enzo / FXX and 'fixed' a project with a Maserati Trident emblem instead of a Prancing Horse. Nevertheless I am glad they did it. It's great to see and hear these cars racing.
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  13. Michele

    Michele Formula Junior

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    Officially, Vitaphone and Hegersport are not factory teams, but when you look at the people walking around in the pitbox, the hospitality and the trucks, Factory personell can be spotted. AF Corse is not an offical factory team as well, but AF corse and Vitaphone work together on several levels. And AF Corse has a lot of Ferrari Corse Clienti factory mechanics, officials and press people in their midst. It was great to see all these people 'incognito' during Le Mans 24 hours this year.
     
  14. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Absolutely! It was actually rather generous for them to do so. Maybe someone held a gun to their heads ... ;>) But it has been great for Maserati. But can there possibly be a second act to the MC12 and this time all Maserati? Seems like a very tall order. I hope there is.

    Bob S.
     
  15. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    Hi Michel,
    That's interesting.

    When you refer to "factory personell" do you mean people from Maserati or Ferrari or both?

    Also, does Maserati Corse have some autonomy within the FIAT system, or is it a racing "division" only in name (i.e. totally dependent on and subordinate to Ferrari's...)?

    Gabriel
     
  16. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    #16 Merak1974, Sep 14, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
    Nice pictures! Have you taken them yourself?
     
  17. Michele

    Michele Formula Junior

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    Both. I know several people who show up in a Ferrari shirt during one race and in a Maserati shirt during another race. Attention: Vitaphone and Hegersport are real German teams with their own management, mechanics etc (who only speak German!), but several people involved are Maserati and Ferrrari factory people (who don't really understand German...). For example: a certain guy listening to the name Bertolini is an official Ferrari and Maserati factory test driver.

    Maserati Corse has its own facilities in Modena, but when you really try to untie the Ferrari / Maserati / Alfa Knot, everything is connected.
     
  18. Michele

    Michele Formula Junior

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    Yes, Oschersleben 2009, Nürburgring 2010 and Spa 2006
     
  19. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    The MC12 is the most sussessfull race car Maserati S.p.A. ever (!) produced!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  20. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Maserati Corse re-designed the cyl.-head of the Enzo (chain-driven) to gear-driven-specs for the MC12. Also they reworked the suspension and electronics of the Ferrari to make it suitable for the Maserati!

    All this makes the MC12 the far more active car than the Enzo. ...and we are talking about the GT-version!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  21. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
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    In a perfect world, this would tell Fiat that the boys at Maserati know how to build a fantastic sports car. I have been touting the success of the MC12 forever now, but the experience and technology Maserati is developing on the track is wasting away for their road cars. The potential is phenomenal.
     
  22. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    And thats exactly the point!

    FIAT has no clue about the fantastic potential Maserati has!

    But as long as Ferrari is the Holey Cow in Italy nothing will come to Maserati that disturbs the circles in Maranello!

    Its a shame!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  23. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    What you call Maserati I might call Faserati Walter. None of it would have happened with out Ferrari so it's not going become an independant entity. Enjoy it for what it is.

    Why it is that none of the information learned in racing is not ending up on the road cars?
    I know Mareratis doesn't have a street model like the MC12 but I would think that some of these lessons learned would be useful none the less?

    Bob S.
     
  24. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    The MC12 (driven by championship leaders Bartels and Bertolini) won again earlier today the GT1 World Championship race in Portimao, Portugal.

    Cheers,
    Gabriel
     
  25. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

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    It is, unfortunately, not likely that Maserati will (be allowed to...?) develop a mid-engined car for some time to come, even though I think a Merak/Bora for the 2010s would have been great for Maserati. Positioned against 991s, R8s etc. it would have to be substantially cheaper than a 458 Italia and hence pose no direct threat to the "Vacca Sacra"...

    Beyond the MC12, it must be noted that the Gran Turismo GT4 has done quite well in European GT4 racing - wins or podiums whenever it has been entered - but has so far only participated in a limited number of races (for reasons I don't know, or understand...).

    Nevertheless, some lessons from racing in the European GT4 Cup (and the Trofeo series) have surely been learned, and a sports Gran Turismo (GT4 or GT-SS) would make perfect sense as the "transmission channel" for those lessons.

    Cheers,
    Gabriel
     

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