Mugello - ITA

Andrea Bertolini grabs pole for Race 2

The same drivers topped the timesheet but the positions were inverted. The qualifying session for the second Trofeo Maserati race at Mugello again saw Andrea Bertolini and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the spotlight. The two appear for Swiss Team in the International Superstars Series in the Maserati Quattroporte Evo.

Pier Guidi and Bertolini swapped places from Saturday morning's session and were separated by just two tenths, with the Sassuolo driver edging it. As the two fastest drivers on the track do not earn any championship points, Nicolò Piancastelli's 1.58.615 took the virtual pole. He only just beat Gaetano Ardagna by a few thousandths.

Behind the front four, on a grid that will include GT Cup entrants, came new Trofeo Maserati champion David Baldi. Both Baldi and Manuel Villa (thirteenth) dipped under the two minute barrier.

On row four will by Andrea Gardelli (who will share the drive with Fabio Venier). Gardelli's 2.00.110 earned pole position in the Team series. Alongside him will be Francesco La Mazza, making a return to the Trofeo Maserati after turning out in 2010.

Adrian Newey's team mate, Joe Macari, took ninth to keep pace with his partner. He showed that he had what it takes when pulling on overalls, a helmet and gloves. Tenth went to Tiziano Frazza, another driver making a return after appearing last year. He was hampered in this session with an injury that saw him pull out early.

Two Team entrants, from AF Corse and Jolly Team, driven by Alessandro Chionna and Olivier Doeblin, respectively, share row six. Behind them are Andreas Segler and Guenther Forster. Next up is the No.18 RMC media car driven by Sergio Remondino. Up next is Pietro Carbone. Sunday's remaining grid slots are taken by Franco Gallina (in the Team series) and Adrien De Leener. For the record, the Swiss Team car did not run in this second session.

Race 2 will be run under the same format as the Vallelunga weekend: the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos will share the track with GT Cup cars. Races will last 48 minutes (plus a lap)with each driver making an obligatory 45 second pit stop. The rule changes will only add to the excitement in Maserati's GT series.

Pier Guidi storms to pole at Mugello

Alessandro Pier Guidi will start from pole position for the first Trofeo Maserati race at Mugello. The talented driver from Tortona stopped the clock at 1'55"546, almost a second quicker than second-placed Andrea Bertolini (1'56"462). The two drivers, who came eighth and ninth overall, will continue their on-track battle as they test parts for the 2012 cars, but, as guests, they will not be picking up any points.

Behind the Swiss Team drivers, who appear in the Superstars championship, will be Gaetano Ardagna (1'57"598) and David Baldi (1'57"764). The Venezuelan, covered four fewer laps than the others, who averaged ten. This choice could pay off as Mugello will see another set of 50' minute races run. Venier and Piancastelli come up next. Venier, making his series debut, coped well with the track's ups and downs as he headed a group of four on 1'59". The last of this bunch was Adrian Newey (1'59"885), who limited the gap to Manuel Villa to just a few thousandths.


Alessandro Chionna's lap (AF Corse) of 2'00"088 earned him a spot behind the Red Bull designer and engineer. Tenth on the grid will be Alberto Sabbatini, director of Autosprint magazine as he got the better of two drivers making their return to the Trofeo: Francesco La Mazza and Tiziano Frazza. Davide Durante, the third-placed Team driver who was caught up in a crash that involved the blameless Adrien De Leener, will start ahead of Olivier Doeblin. Segler and Gallina take the eighth row slots and they line up in front of Ramacci, Forster and De Leener.

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