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Maserati GranTurismo MC GT3

Waiting For FIA Approval

The next couple of days will determine whether the GT3 version of Maserati’s GranTurismo will join the racing grids in 2013 as the World Motor Sport Council  of the FIA decides whether the car is to be added to the list of homologated GT3 machinery.

Swiss Team, led by Guido Bonfiglio, began to develop the GranTurismo Mc GT3 version at the end of 2011 and last year took a development version of the car to a programme of testing before entering the Hungaroring double header of the International GT Open in the hands of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Gabriele Gardel, running fifth before a mechanical problem intervened.

Then in October with Pier Guidi at the wheel in the Italian GT Sprint series at Vallelunga, it showed its competitiveness and won its first race.

The car that now faces the FIA approval procedure on the 5-6 February is the definitive version and will also be fielded in the balance of performance session for the GT3 class – scheduled for the Michelin test circuit at Ladoux – at which the FIA, prior to every racing season, verifies and balances the performance of all homologated modes.

The GranTurismo features all carbon bodywork and aero and a chassis optimized for reduced weight, in all the car has been reduced in weight from around 1400kg to just 1230kg – Balance has also been addressed with the tank moving from the rear to the back seat area, in a lower position, and by moving the driving seat back too.

The cars track has been widened to fully exploit the permitted limit for the bodywork width, (2050 mm at the wheel arches).

The car’s V8 engine is a derivation of the successful item used by Swiss Team in the Quattroporte Evo they campaign in the Superstars Series, the GT3 version though features a new carbon fibre air box and reprofiled camshafts.

All told that gives the Maserati over 530 hp, compared to 460 hp for the standard model.

There’s been plenty of attention paid too to aerodynamics. The GT3 features a flat bottom, front splitter and rear diffuser, dive planes on the sides of the front bumpers and wing that cover 93% of the maximum car width.
 
Guido Bonfiglio:
“We wanted to develop the Maserati GranTurismo MC GT3 version because we believe it is a winning project, stimulating for all involved. We are perfectly aware of the difficulties we'll face in tackling such an ambitious project, but challenges are the heart of a team's dynamics, whether on the track or the design table. Our direct competitors are manufacturers who, disguised to a greater or lesser degree, participate directly in the development of the vehicles and actual racing; we are a small outfit but we have great hopes of being a thorn in the side of these giants of motor sport.”

Swiss Team is based at Balerna, in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland. It was set up in 2008 by Guido Bonfiglio, provide a platform for collaborations by Maserati in motorsport.

The Swiss Team was the first to compete with the Maserati Quattroporte in the International Superstars Series and won the title in 2011, with works driver Andrea Bertolini at the wheel. Before assembling the team, Bonfiglio was responsible for financial and organizational management of the Kessel team for 10 years, collaborating with Ferrari in the GT category at international level.

The team’s Technical director, Giuseppe Angiulli worked from 1989 to 1994 with Osella in F.1 and continued to collaborate with the same factory in development of its prototypes for track and hillclimbing.

From 1994 to 1996 he was part of Alfa Corse technical team in its DTM programme.

From 1998 to 2000 he was consultant to the BMW Motorsport Team Rafanelli and worked on ALMS prototypes.

In 2002 he collaborated with Michelotto Corse in developing the GT2 versions of Ferrari 360 and F430.

In 2006 he led team Villorba Corse to victory at the Italian GT championship with the F430 GT2.

From 2008 to 2010 he was track engineer for Team Vitaphone and the Maserati MC12 GT1 in the FIA GT Championship before joining Swiss Team in autumn 2010.