Donington - GBR

Andrea Bertolini

Bertolini seals two front row spots

The qualifying session saw three drivers bunched within 1.3 seconds of each other. One of them was Andrea Bertolini in his Maserati Quattroporte Evo.

Clocking the second fastest time (1'33"998) in the Swiss Team-prepared Maserati gives Bertolini a slot on the front row for both races. His effort was a fraction slower than the time posted by Alberto Cerqui’s BMW M3 E92 from BMW Italia. Maserati’s positive day was completed when the other Swiss Team driver, Alessandro Pier Guidi, secured fifth spot on both grids with a time of 1'34"588.

With the drivers so closely matched, the fourth round in the International Superstars Series at Donington will be unmissable, with the two Quattroporte Evos among the contenders. The chase for pole position was an exciting one with Cerqui, Bertolini and ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert, in the team Romeo Ferraris Mercedes Amg C63, fighting it out until the bitter end. Things were so tight that the lead switched hands on more than one occasion.

Behind them in the final standings came Luigi Ferrara, in the Caal Racing C63, Pier Guidi and Christian Montanari, in the RGA Motorsport M3 E92.

Bertolini and Pier Guidi showed how competitive they were right from the early free practice sessions when Andrea set the fourth fastest time and Alessandro the eleventh. Pier Guidi’s performance was even more impressive as he had joined the squad on the eve of this round and had never driven the Quattroporte Evo before. Then, when he finally got into the driving seat in Friday’s group test session, an annoying electrical fault reduced power to the engine and so he only ran a few laps.

Still, in the second free practice session, the two Swiss Team drivers were among the quickest on the track after only leaving the pits once it had started raining. Their times proved how well set up the Quattroporte Evo is.

Pier Guidi’s tweaking of the set up of his Quattroporte Evo was crucial. The car had been set up differently and needed modifying to suit Pier Guidi’s style of driving. The work done on the car was supported by Maserati Corse technicians, continuing the back up they have provided Swiss Team since the start of the season. The involvement of engineer Giuseppe Angiulli has also been important as he has experience in preparing the Maserati MC12 for competition in the International FIA GT championship.