Maserati Hot Laps On And Around The Race Track - SHAKEDOWN

Uploaded by drive on 28.09.2012


LEO PARENTE: This is "Shakedown" from northern
We're on our way to Sears Point Raceway to watch the
world touring cars and some other European series that
came with them, including Maserati's
Trofeo World Series.

Spec class for their GranTurismo cars.
Turns out we're in the road-car version of it right
now, the GranTurismo Sport, all tricked out with the magic
Sport button to bring this car to life and do things that
Maseratis do.
Which, of course, is the sound--
LEO PARENTE: --the visceral look and feel, and in this
particular case, how this car drives.
It's a grand-touring car.
But this coupe, pretty alive here on these roads up in
Northern California.
Now you all know Maserati started in racing.
The five brothers in the '30s and '40s, '50s, all about
Grand Prix racing.
Names like Fangio head the list of making
this brand a star.
But in '57, with a deadly accident, the Mille Miglia,
they pulled out of racing big time.
Come back from time to time, like GT1 with the MC12,
class-winning, championship-winning car.
Really now, their racing is just [INAUDIBLE] with this
World Series.
So we're going to take a look at what's going on.
But I don't think the heritage of Maserati has been lost.
And J.F. Musial is going to step out from behind the
camera in this special "Shakedown" and give you a
review of this GranTurismo road car.
In fact, if I do this right and we turn the
corner, oh my god.
We just found J.F. Stay tuned.

J.F. MUSIAL: If you could only choose one word to define
individual car brands, what words would you use?
Volvo, "safety." Lamborghini "bold."
Audi, "Quattro." Maserati?
Well that's an interesting one.
To me, "sound."
J.F. MUSIAL: I think sound is what defines a Maserati.
Not anything else, sound.
Yes it's beautiful, yes it's elegant, yes it has a huge,
rich racing history.
You define a Maserati by the way it sounds.
J.F. MUSIAL: A lot of work goes into the sound design of
this particular vehicle, but it's not just the exhaust.
In fact, this GranTurismo Sport has something very
interesting underneath the hood.
In fact, Maserati has been doing this
for quite some time.
They design the sound not only from the exhaust but also the
air intake.
Underneath the hood of this car, you may see something
very interesting with the air intake.
Those are kind of chambers of air.
So that when you come off the throttle, you got that little
Now we pay very close attention to
sound design in video.
Actually, it's probably one of the most
important parts of a video.
What does it sound like?
What's the music?
Well the music to my ears in this car is the exhaust.
J.F. MUSIAL: Driving this car, it's an experience.
It's elegance.
There is plenty of room in here.
This is a sports car that you could
find NFL players driving.
This is not a Ferrari.
This is not meant to be a car you bring on a track, not to
say it can't.
This is meant for crossing California, which in fact is
what we're doing right now.
And I take great delight in getting behind the wheel of
this thing and just cruising.
And with that exhaust, you don't actually have to go that
fast to have a great experience.
A good experience to me is not one which you're going
extremely fast, dangerously, on public roads.
It's one that enlightens all of your senses.

So what else do you need to know about
this GranTurismo Sport?
Well, interior's a little bit updated, different
seats for the coupe.
The steering wheel has a flat bottom.
At 454 horsepower, it is not the fastest car on the market.
It is a big car.
But when you're driving it, turning,
it's light, very light.
And of course, that's boosted on purpose to make it feel
like a less of a big car.
This is EF transmission.
And it's quite good.
If you hit hard on the breaks, it flips the throttle
properly, downshifts.
It's quite good.

And now you have Leo telling you about this.
LEO PARENTE: J.F. loves his Maserati sounds, but I'm half
deaf from my 9,000-RPM screaming formula Atlantic
days, so I'm fixated on how this
GranTurismo Sport performs.
The magic of this GT car is when you hit the Sport button,
the throttle response comes to life.
The transmission shifts quicken, the exhaust opens up,
and the adaptive suspension makes the Pirelli
tires really work.
The car has a very strong turn-in.
There's initial push, but then the car becomes very neutral,
the front and back of the car working together.
Breaks, positive, and progressive balance that
allows you to really balance weight transfer and make this
car point and steer and turn the way you want to.
One line of cars called GranTurismo, but actually two
different cars and two different personalities.
The coupe is all business, followed by civility.
The convertible, civility followed by a little bit of
But it still rumbles and roars like a Maserati should.
So that's the Maserati road car.
But this is "Shakedown." You're supposed to be
able to race it.
So it's time to check out the Trofeo World Series.

Experience is the word that keeps coming back to us when
we talk about Maserati.
And that's what this racing series is all about, the
experience for gentlemen drivers to
be a race car driver.
But it's not all rich guys running around a racetrack all
over the world.
They've got an under-30 division for young kids that
are looking to make a name for themselves and build a career.
They've got the over-50 category for just that.
And they've got celebrities dropping in, like Patrick
Dempsey and Greg Tracy.

The Trofeo World Series is just that by name, races all
over the globe.
And when the series hits the ground at a given venue, they
set up shop.
The paddock for race-car preparation, the hospitality
area for the drivers and their guests-- again, the experience
of being a real race-car driver at a professional
racing weekend.

Any and all racing starts with the car.
Let's take a look at what this Trofeo World
Series car is all about.

ROBERTO BOZZI: The car is strictly derived from the
GranTurismo S, the model that we launched in 2007.
And since then, the development of the race car
was mainly focused on weight reduction.
So we dropped the weight of about 600 kilos.
And that's very important to have a car that is now about
1,380 kilos.
Regarding the engine, the engine is exactly the same as
one of the production car.
Just as more remapping of the engine, we have adopted a
racing filter that lets more air intake in the engine.
And then we replace the exhaust pipes.
And of course, the engine control unit has been
reprogrammed in order to change a little bit the torque
and the power cord.
But we have adopted the suspension, so with racing
shock absorbers.
And the braking system, of course, is specifically made
by Brembo for a race car.
We have a double-pump braking system with a brake balance,
so drivers can adjust the break balance during the race.
We have no ABS and no servo.
So it's a typical racing braking system.
Of course, drivers need a lower seat position.
And they need a different steering wheel
with a paddle shift.
We have a digital dashboard here.
The drivers can see perfect shifting time, that normally
is between 7,200 and 7,600 RPM.
we upgraded last year we what we call the shifting
upgrade step 2.
And shifting time is 60 milliseconds,
so it's very quick.
And this all [INAUDIBLE] system.
But we have improved since 2010 and 2011.
We have upgraded the car with some aerodynamic package.
We have a front splitter that we can see here.
can give some more down force in the front at high speeds.
And we have applied a big window in the rear that it is
very, very big, almost two meters.
And this one can give the driver a very stable feeling
on the back.
This is the rear diffuser that, of course, helps the
down force on the rear at high speed.
Approximately, we have 45 seconds gap difference to a
real GT3 car.
A GT3 has ABS traction control, and they have a much
more power.
Because now, the GT3 car, they are almost 500-5500
The regulation of this championship is made on
purpose to give everyone the same car and the same setup.
So we prioritize the driver skills.
They just have to focus on their
driving during the weekend.
They cannot change the setup.
The setup is made by our technical director and our
technical team.
And everyone has the car in the same condition.
The driver, they have to drive.
And it's not driven by any devices.

LEO PARENTE: Gentlemen drivers, young pros,
The drivers are the ones that can tell you how this car
performs and what it's like racing in the
Trofeo World Series.
GREG TRACY: Is somebody walking in?
Oh, hey.
I like that.
That's good.
Well yeah.
So the last couple months, obviously I was at Pike's Peak
a month and a half ago with Ducati, which is fantastic.
And here I am with Maserati at Sonoma.
And yes, it's been, I believe, 20 years since I
had raced here last.
So I had a lot on seat, literally.
Number one, I'd didn't have to stick my knee out in any of
the corners.
I didn't gave to put my head down.
Whole new deal, trying to used to four tires,
getting around the track.
But it's been just such a fabulous experience.
I think the biggest thing about Sonoma or Sears point,
the racing track is really a driver's track.
I mean, it's a very technical track.
You have a lot of hills that you're cresting, a lot of
blind exits.
I'm a stunt guy, so I'm more like, the let's let her slide.
I had to remind myself actually, in the qualifying
session, don't over-slide it.
I know it's fun, but if you do that, your tires are going to
get cooked and not only are your lap times going to be
smaller, but Dempsey is not going to be too happy when you
give him the car.

LEO PARENTE: How did you choose and why did you choose
the Trofeo World Series for your career path?
ADRIEN DE LEENER: It was between going to Ferrari
Challenge or staying with Maserati.
I decided to go with Maserati.
I think the competition is very high.
And at the same time everyone's respectable, and
it's a good atmosphere.
The car's very tough to drive compared to the 458.
So I thought it would be a good learning step for me.
GREG TRACY: I'm hoping to do one more year in Maserati, and
then I'm definitely going to go into GT3.

LEO PARENTE: Do you feel like you're on a European track or
an American track?
CEDRIC SBIRRAZZUOULI: It doesn't look like the European
track at all.
It's really particular.
But it's very nice to drive inside.
And especially the first quarter with the big uphill.
It's very, very nice, and I appreciate the time.
It shows this series because I think it's a good balance.
Because everyone has the same car.
It's the driver making the difference.
And this is something I really appreciate.
And also, nowadays, I think, a championship worldwide, like
the series here in Maserati with four races in Europe, and
one in America and one in China.
I think it's a very good compound.
It's a nice car to drive when you know how to drive it.
But the first approach is quite different from respect
to another car.
But by the end, when you know how to drive
it, it's very nice.
Also, I think it's a very good school for drivers who are
coming into racing, because there is
no ABS and no traction.
So whoever knows to drive this car properly, then when you
switch to another car, a GT3 or another easier
car, it's less so.

RICHARD DENNY: I haven't raced really overseas at all, except
for one race in Germany last year.
So the whole series was new to me.
But having a US race was really adding a whole new
dimension to my racing career, I guess.
And I started to address some of my ambitions, as well.
The Maserati's a great car to race.
Especially in this new configuration for 2012, it's
got a big rear wing, as you know.
So that gives a lot of extra down
force through the corners.
So the speed through the corners is much higher than
the previous model.
I tested the previous one some time back.
So you get that.
The car's lighter.
A lot more carbon fiber.
The overall setup is really nice.
And it feels-- from a driver's perspective, it's a really
predictable car to drive, which is far better than not
quite knowing what's about to happen next.
LEO PARENTE: Who do you like passing most?
Your fellow 50-plus competitors or the young guys?
RICHARD DENNY: Definitely the young guys.
I like passing the young guys.

I guess there's a few differences in approach
between them.
They've probably got a whole career ahead of them.
You know, this is a steppingstone.
I'm sort of taking a different approach to this, but with
that said, it's great to be competitive and
we're really up there.
And when you look at the times across the whole fields,
there's not a real lot in the first 10, 15 cars.
So it makes it interesting, going all the way around.
But passing any car is always good.

LEO PARENTE: Maserati road cars, Maserati racing cars
with the World Series.
I'm wearing my Maserati blue.
What is this all about?
You know, I get very technical when we look at racing, all
the facts and figures and the techniques
of making it happen.
But at the end of the day, Maserati has nailed one of the
most important parts of racing--
the experience.
There's a Maserati experience of driving the road car.
And the racers that race the Maserati Trofeo World Series,
it's all about their experience, too.
Living the life of a race-car driver, coming to a
main event like this.
Really immersing themselves in the passion that makes racing
so popular to all of us.
J.F. Showed you the road car.
We took it inside to look at the racing.
Maserati needs to bring this series to the US.
See what happens next.