“I am proud to bring the success of Maserati, the MC20 GT2 is a car born to win”

“I am proud to bring the success of Maserati, the MC20 GT2 is a car born to win”

Motor racing still knows how to make a strong impression. Motorsport’s romantic side came out loud and clear this weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit. On the Le Castellet track the LP Racing team managed to reconnect the conversation with the past of such a glorious brand as Maserati. The Italian team, in the first race of the GT2 European Series season, took the brand new Maserati MC20 GT2 to the top step of the podium, thanks to the crew made up of Carlo Tamburini and Leonardo Gorini. Not only that, another Trident car driven by Philippe Prette also won the AM class.

After the glorious MC12 GT1, which at the beginning of the new millennium has won back-to-back successes and titles, Maserati is back on the Gran Turismo racing scene. A worthy successor bears the name MC20 GT2 and the conditions to write other pages of history in the world of racing are all there. To tell the truth, the christening of the track of the new car from Modena took place last October on the French track with a pole and the second place in the final reached by Gorini and Luca Pirri, last for the occasion in the double team of the Team. Principal and driver.

Back at the pit wall again, Pirri managed his team perfectly in a weekend of victory at Paul Ricard. We asked him to tell us from his perspective how this success happened and what his expectations are for the rest of the season.

Even as Team Principal, what did it mean to win the first GT2 European Series race of the season at Paul Ricard with Maserati?

« Bringing an Italian company to success is a source of great pride for me. This weekend’s double victory was, of course, a continuation of the work that started last year right here at the Le Catellet circuit, when in October we brought the Maserati MC20 GT2 for the first time”

What will you take with you from this weekend?

“The double satisfaction of racing with two cars and winning overall, in Race 1, and the AM class, in the second heat, clearly showing that the Maserati MC20 GT2 is a one-time winner. Seeing our two Maseratis leading in Race 1, before of Prette being beaten, was further proof of his competitiveness.”

Have you upgraded your Maserati this winter break?

“From its beginning until today, we have improved the car, including the test in Montmelò, making it more competitive. This allowed us to produce better results to launch what we hope will be a successful season.”

It’s not just Maserati. LP Racing also races with the Audi R8 GT2, with which you won the title last year. How can you manage this double commitment?

“In the next Misano race we will have two Maseratis and the same number of Audis. It is like having two souls in one box, on one side there is Italian and on the other side Teutonic.”

Considering the same type, what is the difference between the two cars?

“The Maserati MC20 represents the second generation of the GT2. The carbon frame and shell bring advantages in terms of rigidity and performance. Even the Bosch electronics, which are installed in the Trident car, represent a clear evolution which, in my opinion, It’s better than some of the GT3 cars. With Maserati we’re heading towards a real racing car, but, at the same time, it has lower running costs ( Balance of Performance ed.) ensures that all the cars on the grid are balanced to allow us to race on equal terms.”

LP Racing is the reigning champion team, how is the GT2 European Series standings?

«The GT2 class is very competitive. Suffice it to say that Loris Hezemans, coming from the best-performing GT3, did not go higher than ninth in qualifying at Paul Ricard. Moreover, KTM has made great progress from the perspective of the car and the drivers. For Misano, the most driven circuit, the KTM X-Bows will certainly be competitive. Likewise, the Mercedes, due to its engine power, is to be feared especially on fast tracks such as Monza and Spa.”

So how do we prepare against this fierce competition?

«Before the next round in Misano (scheduled for the weekend of May 19th.) we will do some tests to adjust the cars on the Romagna circuit. From a championship perspective, it will be important to perform well in Italy to try to recover the points lost in Race 2 against Paul Ricard. There is no need to hide the fact that we are aiming to regain the title.”

In his racing career, he raced the Maserati MC12 GT1, several GT3 cars and, finally, the Maserati MC20 GT2. In your opinion, how has the world of Gran Turismo racing changed?

“The GT division has changed a lot. The total increase in performance, which is there for all to see, the electronics have played a big role, but reliability has also increased. In the days of the GT1 cars it was not uncommon to see mechanical failures due to failure of the shafts axle or, worse, of the engine. Today, taking the last race of the GT World Challenge as an example, in the 3 Hours of Paul Ricard there was only one retirement due to technical problems among the 55 cars. reliability has been achieved and it certainly makes a difference to the client’s application.”

In your opinion, will the GT2 class be the future of the category?

“I was lucky enough to race in GT1 and be among the first to understand that the category, due to the huge growth in costs, was growing. I was among the first to embrace the GT3 program, racing for different manufacturers. Knowing the class in depth, GT3 has also reached levels of professionalism, cost and high standards that are no longer achievable for gentlemen drivers. Based on this, I believe the GT2 class is a very valid answer. In terms of limitations, we are about two seconds away each cycle without, however, having the cost and complexity of this.”

Going back to Luca Pirri as a driver, do you have any intention of wearing the suit and helmet again?

“I am recovering from hip surgery. After I turn 50, when I return to the track, I hope to return to the Bronze category and start a second youth. Although I will be demoted from semi-professional to technical driver, according to the new FIA regulations WEC I could compete in the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the wheel of LMGTE. I’m also following the path of my son Niccolo’ (pictured above) who is working on making his Formula 4 debut in 2025.”