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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Inside Maserati’s long-awaited MC12 successor

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Maserati’s large success with the MC12 GT1 over a decade in the past meant the Italian producer’s follow-up was all the time going to be keenly anticipated.

PLUS: The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Based mostly on the street going MC20, the brand new Maserati GT2 made its competitors debut at Paul Ricard within the closing GT2 European Collection spherical of 2023 final month and claimed pole on the first time of asking. The LP Racing-entered machine went on to complete second with Leonardo Gorini and Luca Pirri on the wheel.

Autosport was current on the automobile’s launch earlier this 12 months. Here is what we uncovered.

Chassis

The mid-engined MC20 launched in 2020 is predicated round a carbon-composite monocoque, which makes the Maserati GT2 distinctive among the many OEM vehicles developed for a class introduced in July 2018 and that lastly bought going with the launch of the GT2 European Collection in 2021.

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Amongst its rivals solely the KTM X-Bow GT2 developed by Reiter Engineering is carbon-chassised. That makes it “the proper place to begin for a race automobile”, in keeping with Nicola Scimeca, boss of the Ycom, Maserati’s technical associate on the GT2 undertaking.

Scimeca is well-known to the Italian sportscar maker: he was chassis group chief on the Maserati MC12 GT1 contender launched in 2004 throughout a stint at Dallara Autombili. Based mostly in Parma in northern Italy, the corporate was chosen for the partnership, in keeping with Vincent Biard, undertaking chief at Maserati on the GT2, for “its in depth expertise in composites”.

Ycom’s sportscar CV contains engaged on the buildings of LMP1 and P2 prototypes for Audi, ORECA and Ligier amongst others. It additionally developed the short-lived Lotus Evora GTE that raced on the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2011. The simulation work was carried out in-house by the Italian producer on what Biard describes as a “innovative dynamic simulator” on the Maserati Innovation Lab.

Photograph by: SRO

Ycom was a key chassis associate on the Maserati GT2, with founder Scimeca offering a key hyperlink with the MC12

Engine and gearbox

Maserati has been chargeable for improvement of the race model of the MC20’s three-litre 90-degree V6 twin-turbo engine dubbed the Nettuno. It retains the capability of the street automobile unit and the twin-combustion expertise, with Biard describing it as an “evolution” of the usual unit.

The large change is the ECU to switch the usual engine electronics providing 5 completely different driving modes; it’s a full race-spec model. There’s additionally a revised exhaust system.

Maserati quotes the identical 621bhp energy output for the GT2 as for the street automobile, although it’s going to differ upwards and downwards in keeping with the system of Stability of Efficiency that’s central to the GT2 class. The race engines are constructed on the identical manufacturing line as its street automobile siblings.

“Our work was to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency and the cooling to provide a automobile that’s nonetheless recognisable as a Maserati” Pablo German D’Agostino

The road-going transmission of the usual GT2, an eight-speed Tremec gearbox, is changed by a full race six-speed unit. It’s provided by Hoer Technologie from Germany.

Cockpit

The inside of Maserati’s first GT racer for the reason that Ferrari Enzo-based MC12 is, says Scimeca, “pure race automobile” full with a six-point FIA-homologated rollcage as per the GT2 rules. It incorporates all of the bells and whistles you’d count on, together with an adjustable pedal field and racing sprint.

There’s house for a second seat for teaching functions, important in a automobile conceived for patrons and that may predominantly be raced by novice drivers. The air-conditioning has been retained, albeit in modified kind.

The interior is kitted out with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a bone fide racer

Photograph by: Davide De Martis

The inside is kitted out with all of the bells and whistles you’d count on from a bone fide racer

Suspension

The suspension is double wishbones all spherical developed by Ycom, whereas the street automobile has an analogous format on the entrance and a multi-link association on the rear. Suspension design is free in GT2 as a result of it’s a BoP formulation. The entrance and rear monitor have been barely elevated over the MC20. Maserati has not revealed by how a lot, however the total width of the GT2 is up by 64mm on the street automobile.

Bodywork

Each panel on the GT2 is new and made in carbon composite; solely chosen panels together with the butterfly-opening doorways are carbon on the street automobile. The entrance and rear bodywork differ from their street going counterparts within the identify of aerodynamic effectivity and improved cooling, however the automobile needed to retain the look of a Maserati. The three air shops within the bonnet are pure Maserati – a marque generally known as the Trident after its badge likes to do issues in threes, witness the nine-spoke wheels.

“Our job was to make sure that we retained the soul of the automobile,” says Pablo German D’Agostino, head of exterior design at Maserati Centro Stile. “Our work was to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency and the cooling to provide a automobile that’s nonetheless recognisable as a Maserati. We prefer to say that the decrease components of the physique are engineered for the racing setting and the highest components are sculptured.”

Biard factors out that it was additionally essential that the GT2 was “clearly identifiable as a monitor automobile”.

Maserati GT2 has already made its racing debut at Paul Ricard

Photograph by: SRO

Maserati GT2 has already made its racing debut at Paul Ricard



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