Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (AF Corse)
Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (AF Corse)
||Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, 26th June 2011
Catsburg and Sbirrazzuoliout on their own at Spa
Nick Catsburg and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli came out on top in today’s two fourth-round Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC races. This weekend’s action was taking place at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
The Dutchman and the driver from Monaco did not face any real challengers in races that took place on a dry track. The good weather was a welcome relief after the rain that fell on Friday and Saturday. Catsburg dominated the morning race and won by 51” over second placed Manuel Villa. Third came Nicolò Piancastelli after coming through two collisions. The first came at Bus Stop and involved Gaetano Ardagna, leading to a drive-through for the Venezuelan. The second clash was with overall leader David Baldi one lap from the end. In the Team series, victory went to Alessandro Chionna from AF Corse.
AF Corse’s positive day was completed in the afternoon when Cedric Sbirrazzuoli swept the board (like Catsburg, he had taken pole and set the fastest lap). The second race was conditioned by the entry of the safety car that was on for over twenty minutes. This was to allow debris from three cars that had a first lap crash to be removed. The drivers involved, and who were now out of the running, were Nicolò Piancastelli, Manuel Villa and David Baldi. Behind Sbirrazzuoli at the finish came Gaetano Ardagna (the best-placed Trofeo driver) and Swiss driver Andrina Gugger, who made a podium return after claiming third at Monza. Next up was Belgian Guy Fawe, who shared the drive with Raf Vleugels.
Daniel Waszczinski, from Konvex Racing Team, came second in the Team series.
At the halfway stage in the championship, Ardagna, thanks to this result, leaps into second in the Trofeo standings. In doing so, he overtakes Piancastelli and is now just 5 points down on Baldi.
Kris Wauters, the singer from the band ‘Clouseau’ and guest in the No.18 Radio Monte Carlo car, made up for his morning retirement by crossing the line in fifth overall.
Nick Catsburg: “It was a great race and I am really pleased. At the start, I realised that a few of the other drivers were quicker than me but I stayed calm so that the tyres didn’t suffer too much. It was a really long race and, even though it was my first time in a Maserati, I didn’t have any problems and I had a lot of fun. There was a big gap to the other drivers but I don’t think it was down to a difference in ability. I believe it comes down to my greater experience of racing and my knowledge of this circuit”.
Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (AF Corse): “I was at a little bit of a disadvantage because I hadn’t driven on slicks during the weekend. This was because it had rained on the previous two days and my team mate, Chionna, had competed in the first race. This is perhaps the reason I had a few early problems. The safety car shortened Race 2 and, once we got going, I noted that Gaetano Ardagna was some way ahead of me and so I opted to take things easy. I wanted to cross the line without taking any risks; a win at Spa was important to me”.
Race 1 - Trofeo
1. Nick Catsburg 41:30.209
2. Manuel Villa 42:22.161
3. Nicolò Piancastelli 42:42.919
Race 1 – Team
1. Alessandro Chionna (AF Corse) 43:53.543
Race 2 - Trofeo
1. Gaetano Ardagna 42:17.362
2. Andrina Gugger 42:26.676
3. Guy Fawe 42:28.760
Race 2 – Team
1. Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (AF Corse) 42:03.626
2. Daniel Waszczinski (Konvex Racing Team) 42:53.268
1. David Baldi –75 points
2. Gaetano Ardagna – 70 points
2. Nicolò Piancastelli – 65 points
1. AF Corse (Sbirrazzuoli/Chionna) - 99 points
2. Scuderia Jolly Club (Olivier Doeblin) – 48 points
3. Swiss Team (Smurra/Casè) – 42 points
The fifth round in the Trofeo will be held on 17 July at Donington, England. Driver interviews, photos, videos and in-depth articles on Maserati’s single-make series are available on the Maserati Corse website (www.maseraticorse.com).
Text courtesy of Maserati Press Center