Misano - ITA

A fight between the heavy and the flyweights

As expected, the fifth round of the International Superstars Series proved a tough one for the Maserati Quattroporte Evo.

This year, the Swiss Team cars are prepared for races with the technical support of Maserati Corse.

Both of the Swiss outfit's drivers, Andrea Bertolini and Alessandro Pier Guidi, took to the track with a double weight handicap that had a major effect. The handicap was, in part, due to the superb results picked up over the previous rounds and partly imposed because the organisers surprisingly declared the Maseratis too competitive.

A change to the technical regulations just before the Misano weekend, part of the organisers' ongoing attempt to level out performance, assigned 15kg to the Quattroporte Evo's minimum weight. At the same time, 15kg were taken off the car's direct rival, the Mercedes C63 AMG; a much more powerful car courtesy of its bigger engine.

On top of this, Bertolini had to load up with 60kg of ballast following his one-two at Donington. This was the maximum weight allowed and saw his Quattroporte Evo tip the scales at 1425kg. Bertolini’s team-mate, Pier Guidi, had an added 10kg to carry after his sixth and fourth place at the English circuit.

This was the situation that Bertolini and Pier Guidi found themselves in after having worked on the set up of their cars at recent private tests at Vallelunga and in free practice on the Romagna track. In qualifying they posted the 6th and 9th fastest times.

Bertolini could not really have done any better as the driver in pole, Alberto Cerqui, and team mate Thomas Biagi, were in BMW M3 E92s that were at their minimum weight of 1280kg. Next up were the three Mercedes C63 AMGs driven by Luca Rangoni, Luigi Ferrara and Massimo Pigoli which weighed 1375kg, 1395kg and 1375kg, respectively.

In qualifying, Pier Guidi had to deal with a drop in the power delivered by his car’s engine; a problem that the team dealt with by substituting it after the session with the technicians working late into the night.
Even in these tricky circumstances, both drivers continued to push on and completed 3-4 laps on each set of the two sets of tyres available. The aim was to keep the tyres in decent shape for the race given the weight handicap they would be lining up with.