DES­TINED FOR THE TRACK

Classic Sports Car - - A Passage From India -

The MC12 road car was only ever a ticket to en­durance rac­ing for Maserati, and as soon as the 25 re­quired Stradales were built, the fac­to­ry­backed AF Corse sta­ble was let loose on the FIA GT Cham­pi­onship. But fears that the car would prove too dom­i­nant, as with the Mercedes-benz CLK GTR back in the ’90s, de­layed ho­molo­ga­tion ap­proval un­til late in the sea­son.

By 2005 the car had been cleared, and the Maser­atis duly swept aside all com­pe­ti­tion, win­ning the con­struc­tors’ ti­tle with 239 points – al­most dou­bling Fer­rari’s tally.

MC12S car­ried the cham­pion driv­ers from 2006-’09, as well as scor­ing a win in the in­au­gu­ral FIA GT1 World Cham­pi­onship in 2010 (right).

Maserati also had dif­fi­culty get­ting the green light to race in the Amer­i­can Le Mans Se­ries due to the MC12 ex­ceed­ing length and width re­stric­tions. In 2005, the gov­ern­ing body al­lowed it to run – but not to score points – and the sin­gle Risi Com­pe­tizione car failed to make an im­pres­sion, crash­ing out of the sea­son fi­nale at La­guna Seca.

Fol­low­ing the GT1’S on-track suc­cess, a strictly track-only ver­sion of the MC12 was cre­ated for cus­tomers with deep pock­ets. Own­ers of the 12 ‘Corsa’ ver­sions, priced at €1m each and fin­ished in the firm’s Blue Vic­tory hue, were only al­lowed to drive the cars dur­ing sanc­tioned track days. Based on the GT1, th­ese vari­ants pro­duced 745bhp.

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