Trofeo World Series 2012 - Shanghai
ROUND 6, SHANGHAI: Kuppens also wins world title
As seemed probable before the event, Renaud Kuppens also won the Maserati Trofeo World Series world title having pocketed the European title after the first four meetings on the continent. The Belgian fully deserved his success having raced solo throughout the season. After his excellent haul in the previous race, at the season’s sixth and last event in Shanghai he only needed a second place finish, in race 1, to achieve his goal.
What’s more, Kuppens also won the special prize for the most pole positions - the last one actually on the Chinese circuit, during the second qualifying session - and, together with Daniel Waszczinski, secured the Team title for his Konvex Motorsport stable. Victory in the two races went respectively to Riccardo Ragazzi and Giorgio Sernagiotto, who had competed throughout the season, the former with Alan Simoni and the latter with Giuseppe Fascicolo.
Ragazzi-Simoni were the biggest winners in China, with Simoni finishing second in race 2. This team, the best balanced and most competitive of the pairings during the season, therefore took home another of the prizes on offer: the Trofeo, in spite of a few wasted opportunities.
This was the end of an exciting season for the Maserati Trofeo World Series, with an average of 24 cars competing in each race and 25 in Shanghai, with a total of 35 drivers from 15 countries: Italy, Morocco, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Belgium, Monaco, Australia, Venezuela, Austria, Switzerland and China.
The Trofeo World Series closing ceremony was held in the fine setting of the Maserati Pudong Downtown Showroom, the manufacturer’s main dealership in Shanghai. Here the prizes were presented for all the titles on offer; as well as those won by Kuppens, the Trofeo was awarded to Riccardo Ragazzi and Alan Simoni, the Over 50 title to Richard Denny, the Under 30 prize to Adrien De Leener and the Best Asian Drivers award to Eric Lo and Shaun Thong.
I am really happy at winning the championship as, this year, it was a global event with the rounds in the USA and China.
RACE 1: Ragazzi gets his reward after Barde tries to steal victory
In race 1 Sbirrazzuoli, who started from pole position, immediately collided with Pigoli, dropping down the field. This let Ragazzi take the lead, ahead of Kuppens, Barde and Bakker. A fierce struggle soon began amongst them; Barde tried to overtake the Italian, but hit him and pushed him off the circuit. This allowed the Swiss driver to cross the line first, but he was then awarded a 10 second penalty and fell back into third place, while victory went to Ragazzi.
RACE 2: Sernagiotto dominates ahead of Simoni after Kuppens retires with a puncture
In race 2 Kuppens was looking for a victory to crown his world title already won in race 1, but after taking the lead ahead of Sernagiotto, Dromedari, Simoni and Venier he went off the circuit in the 16th lap and had to retire with a puncture. This allowed Sernagiotto to take control of the situation through to the finishing line, ahead of Simoni, Bakker, Azcarte and, unexpectedly, Segler. Dromedari, also forced to withdraw with a puncture, was particularly unlucky.