Trofeo World Series 2012
ROUND 1, JARAMA: Romagnoli-Sernagiotto dominate
The season-opening event in the Maserati Trofeo World Series was a great success, with no less than 25 teams racing on one of the world’s finest circuits, Jarama, scene of many memorable F1 duels in the past. On this difficult, technical, demanding track, where drivers can still make a difference, two of the group’s most experienced members, Riccardo Romagnoli and Giorgio Sernagiotto, partnered by Edo Varini and Giuseppe Fascicolo respectively, soon stood out.
Romagnoli and Sernagiotto led from practice, one taking the first and the other the second qualification session, and then winning, respectively, the first and second races, proving that they are both well placed to compete for the title.
Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, racing with Alessandro Chionna, was also particularly competitive, finishing race 1 in second place just 0.137 seconds behind Romagnoli. The pairing of Riccardo Ragazzi and Alan Simoni, both capable of producing good results, was also a clear threat to the rest of the field.
For these teams, the key will be the consistency of their individual performances over the season. The Trofeo World Series is open both to pairs - with two drivers competing in one sprint race each and taking it in turns for the endurance events, where included - and individuals. With this in mind, the Jarama meeting also highlighted Renaud Kuppens as a potential contender. The Belgian had little to show for his efforts due to a bad choice of tyres in race 1 and problems with brakes in race 2, but throughout the weekend he clocked up excellent times and proved to be quick in the races.
Amongst the other solo competitors, Andrea Dromedari also impressed, gradually improving to qualify in third place on the grid for race 2, and finishing 4th and 2nd in the two races. Moroccan Youssaf El Marnissi was also a surprise, improving consistently and racing very hard to finish third in race 2.
It was a great race and one where I drove on the limit all the way through.
RACE 1: Romagnoli attempts to go solo before holding off Sbirrazzuoli in sprint finish
Due to a heavy shower before the start, race 1 began with the safety car, after which Romagnoli took the lead and surged ahead of Sbirrazzuoli, Venier, Simoni and Dromedari, while Kuppens paid the price for choosing to change to rain tyres at once, while the track dried out. Sbirrazzuoli then made up ground, crossing the line in second place just 0.137 seconds behind Romagnoli and ahead of Simoni and Dromedari, who fought fiercely for third place.
RACE 2: Sernagiotto wins impressively over surprise packages Dromedari and El Marnissi
In race 2, in dry conditions, Sernagiotto was in a class of his own. At the start he held off attacks from Kuppens and Dromedari without difficulty, then after a period with the safety car due to an accident, he increased his lead to win by a margin of 8.9 seconds. The battle between the chasing pack was intense, with Dromedari coming out top to finish second, and a surprise third place for El Marnissi, who overtook Kuppens, suffering brake problems, right at the end.