The Trofeo World Series kicked off back in 2003 when the field was made up of spec racers based on the old Maserati 4200. The newer GranTurismo MC took its place in 2010, and with it the series expanded from Europe into other locations. This year's calendar saw it race at Paul Ricard in France and the Red Bull Ring in Austria, at Road America, VIR, and Laguna Seca here in America, at Suzuka in Japan and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.
This will be the last season for the championship, but that doesn't mean client racers won't have a chance to turn the wheel of a Maserati in anger again. Instead of competing exclusively against identical machinery, Maserati will now support customer teams in two racing series under GT4 regulations: the Pirelli World Challenge here in the US and the European GT4 Championship across the pond. To that end, it's adapting the GranTurismo MC from Trofeo spec to GT4 by reducing the output from the 4.7-liter V8 from 488 horsepower to 430 and tweaking the aero package.
Following the Balance of Performance tests to be undertaken under the auspices of the SRO (which runs the Euro GT4 series as well as the Blancpain championships), a good 10 teams will field 20 cars between the two series on both sides of the Atlantic. Those still interested in competing in spec racing series with identical machinery still have plenty of places to turn, including the Ferrari Challenge, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and the Porsche Supercup. Check out the modified Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 in the gallery above and video below.
17 December 2015 - The final round of the 2015 Trofeo World Series took place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit last weekend, bringing the sixth and final season in Maserati's single-make series to a close. This, however, will not be the end of Maserati's sporting activities: the GranTurismo MCs will be back on track in 2016 competing in the international GT4 series run by private teams.
Over 20 cars across 10 different teams have confirmed their participation and the teams have already taken delivery of their cars and have begun to make the necessary modifications to bring them into line with the new category's regulations.
The return to the GT4 category comes after a debut season in the 2009 European GT4 championship and as a result of the positive feedback from three 'test races' in 2015, at Road America, Laguna Seca and Misano. Next season, Maserati will be battling on two fronts: in the European GT4 Championships and the US Pirelli World Challenge.
The modifications required for GT4 homologation concern the engine and aerodynamics. The car's overall technical make-up will remain unchanged: the 4700cc engine, electro-actuated transmission with paddle-shift commands and a kerb weight of 1410 kg will stay. The fitting of an air scoop will reduce the car's power output to 430 bhp from its current 488 bhp while a newly-designed rear spoiler and modified diffuser will bring the car's performance into line with that of the other GT4 cars.
The GranTurismo MCs final set up will be established during the official pre-championship Balance of Performance (BoP) tests where the GT4 SRO homologation standards will be completed.
Maserati will provide technical support and replacement parts for the private teams competing in the championship, using the experience and knowledge built up over six years in the Maserati Trofeo Championship.
"The Pirelli World Challenge, and the new European GT4 series, is an excellent opportunity for Maserati and all those teams and clients who want to race with a marque steeped in character and history. The budget is accessible and the series highly competitive and professional," said Roberto Bozzi, Sales & Marketing Motorsport Manager for Maserati.
Maserati will be tracking the performance of the teams competing in Europe and the USA and will shortly provide details for a special award for the best Maserati driver and team.
"It is an incentive and recognition for drivers and teams that will again lead Maserati's fight against top competition in the form of Porsche, Aston Martin and Chevrolet," said Roberto Bozzi.