Johnny Herbert And Maserati GB Present The Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe 2006

Supermodel Jodie Kidd and Johnny Herbert at Silverstone

Maserati Trofeo GranSport

Johnny Herbert was the guest of honour at the London launch of the Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe 2006.

The launch took place at HR Owen Sports Cars in London, in front of 200 selected guests, who were able to admire the Maserati Trofeo GranSport which was raced at Silverstone during the F1 Grand Prix Weekend by Johnny Herbert and supermodel Jodie Kidd. The Audemars Piguet Dual Time Millenary Maserati watches, which were designed to celebrate Maserati 90 years of history and the collaboration between the two companies on the racing front, were also on display.

Andrea Antonnicola, Managing Director of Maserati GB Ltd, commented "The Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe is a fantastic race series which takes place on Europe’s most famous circuits. It’s a great opportunity to compete at international level, in a glamorous and extremely well organised setting, where the drivers and their sponsors can enjoy the exclusive Maserati hospitality."

Johnny Herbert, who joined Maserati in 2004 when the company returned to international motor racing with the MC12 in the FIA GT Championship, was one of the VIP drivers who were invited to race in the Trofeo Maserati in 2005. "The organisation of the Trofeo Maserati Championship is truly superb," he said. "You are looked after from the moment you arrive at the circuit, finding your car perfectly prepared and ready to go. I hope they will invite me again to race with Jodie next year!."

Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe

The Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europe is the one-make race championship organised by Maserati for Gentlemen Drivers, staged at some of Europe’s most prestigious circuits. A grid of up to 22 Trofeo GranSports will make their 2006 debut at Monza in April, with the last chequered flag falling at Valencia in October. There are seven races in total, plus a World Final event for the leading drivers in the series. The Trofeo GranSport is a lightened and tuned race version of the showroom GranSport coupe, punching out 425hp and reaching a top speed of over 180mph.

The 2006 edition of the Trofeo Maserati Europe retains the distinctive elements that have made it such a success in the past. Not the least of these has been the appearance of various ex-Formula One drivers in the series, including Johnny Herbert, Tiff Needell, Ivan Capelli and Ralph Firman during 2005, who all shared a drive with supermodel Jodie Kidd. For 2006 Maserati has improved some of the features that make competing in this one-make Championship such a unique pleasure. For instance, 60-minute endurance races have been introduced - these will increase the time drivers spend behind the wheel of their Trofeo GranSports. The mandatory pit stops have been retained, but time penalties and bonuses have been added to keep the races open and raise the excitement right through to the end of the season.

The Trofeo Maserati Europe provides the Gentleman Driver with the privilege of arriving at the circuit to find his race car waiting for him in perfect condition, with his own mechanic, track engineer and all other arrangements in place. Clothing is also provided.

Each Trofeo event takes place over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The first two days are for practice sessions and qualifying rounds, the race itself taking place on Sunday and organised as a mini-endurance event with a mandatory pit stop. Accommodation in four star hotels is also provided, as are tyres, fuel and other consumables over the race weekend.

In detail, the package includes
  • Entry to the championship which includes seven races and four test days before and during the season.
  • Use of a car for the race weekend
  • Tyres, fuel and any other consumable materials during the race weekend
  • Parts and labour for servicing the car during the race weekend
  • A mechanic at every race
  • A head mechanic for every six cars
  • A technical director
  • Accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night for the driver and a companion
  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday, lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for drivers and their guests.
  • Use of the hospitality motorhome
  • Race kit (overalls, boots etc)
  • Track clothing for the driver
  • Use of a spare car (depending on availability) in case of accidents where repairs cannot be made in a reasonable time
  • Comprehensive vehicle accident damage insurance with excess (up to €8000 for the first accident, up to €10000 for the second and up to €12000 after that).

The cost for the 2006 season (seven races plus four test days) is € 130,000.00 (+ taxes and/or legal charges). The cost for an additional driver, sharing, is €15,000.00 for the whole season or €3,000 for a single race. The Maserati final is upon invitation only and will be charged separately.

Published 17 December 2005 Melanie Carter

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