Maserati’s racing heritage is unmatchable in more ways than one. The company has been around the racing world for decades and in fact, started motor racing before making cars!
The brand’s racing heritage is what helped it acquire some credibility as a sports car maker. Maserati’s outlook on mass manufacturing changed when its GT line of cars started bringing in attention and sales. They haven’t looked back since and have now become renowned luxury carmakers. It has been a while since they entered racing, but their philosophy in car making has remained the same.
Before we take a look at the focus of today’s article, the GT4 spec Maserati GranTurismo, it is important to understand Maserati’s racing history.
Maserati’s Racing History
Maserati has been involved in motor racing since its inception. They have taken part in Formula One, touring car racing, and sportscar racing. They have been in motorsport since the early 1920s. They were a phenomenal entrant in the world of racing, winning various races in the Sport and GT racing category. After the war, they resumed operations in 1954 and since then had scored points in the World Sportscar Championship in all but one year. They officially retired the factory team, however, continued to make cars for private teams.
They made their return in the 21st century, entering the Maserati MC12 into the FIA GT championship in 2004. It subsequently went on to win four driver’s championships and five team championships in a row, truly showing its pedigree. They also won the inaugural FIA GT1 championship in 2010.
Another slightly unknown facet is their tryst with Formula One, the pinnacle of motor racing. Little do people know that Maserati helped the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio lift two driver’s championships in the 1950s. The company officially withdrew a few years later but continued supplying engines and parts to teams up to 1967.
So, what about the modern-day Maserati in racing? They still have one of the sleekest and most elegant cars in the form of the Maserati GranTurismo GT4.
The Maserati GranTurismo MC Race-spec
Before Maserati introduced the GranTurismo GT4, there was the GranTurismo MC. This car was launched to compete in the Trofeo World Series. While this meant that the car could compete only in Maserati’s flagship championship series, many privateers wanted a GT spec car that they could use in races. Thus, the requests flooded in, and Maserati decided to make the GranTurismo GT4.
The Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4
While Maserati never explicitly participates in a GT4 series, it does make the Maserati GT4, which can be used in races. The GranTurismo is a car, whose base itself is suited for racing. By making further modifications, the car can conquer challenges.
The first iteration came when Maserati decided to 2010 Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4. The car has been created specifically to race and after much demand from privateers. Naturally it the Maserati GT4 specs are bonkers. It comes with a 4.7-liter V8 producing 433 bhp and just over 360 lb-ft of torque.
The car has an incredible power-to-weight ratio of 3.4kg per hp making it rapid on the circuits. Full carbon fiber bodywork is present and there is also a high-flow exhaust to help with performance. The car has been made in line with GT4 regulations as there was a slew of GranTurismo owners who wanted a race-spec car.
The Maserati GranTurismo GT4
To make it compatible with international races, Maserati decided to make the GranTurismo GT4. The car was already in high demand and a lot of private teams had placed orders. Over 20 different cars for 10 distinct teams have been delivered and all of them are made in line with the new regulations. The GT4 aimed to be a part of the European GT4 Championships and the US Pirelli World Challenge.
The Maserati GT4 race car was fitted with a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produced a slightly toned down 430 bhp. The car, however, came with a rear spoiler and a modified diffuser to help it achieve more downforce. As for each Maserati GT4 price, it remains unknown. Maserati has also claimed that it will provide the necessary technical support and provide the private teams with the replacement parts.
How Did They Fare?
We know that the Maserati GranTurismo GT4 specs are not eye-popping, yet the brand has built a car that is capable of competing with the best. A private team even pulled off a 1-2 in the 2016 Competition 102 GT4 European Series, in Monza no less. The pride of Italy winning in Italy is special and to have a carmaker do it in just their first year, even more special. The season’s merits followed and various Maserati GT4 cars managed to win bring-up podiums and continued bringing glory to the trident name.
The car also fared well in the PWC GTS class, managing to snatch a podium. While it took until round 12 of the series to get a podium, the strong performance meant that the car was simply flawless. As the season started with a victory in Monza, it was natural that the season concludes with a victory in Abu Dhabi. It was a Maserati GranTurismo GT4 that managed to snatch victory in the Gulf 12 hours of Abu Dhabi, an endurance race in the glitz and glamour of the Yas Marina circuit.
Across the Finish Line
The idea behind competing in the GT4 series is that the cars run quite close to production models and it is easy for Maserati to make them. There is no requirement to make extreme modifications and the cars just need some tuning, well of course there’s the roll cage, stripped out interior and some race bits here and there. GT4 is also the hotbed of talent as it costs far less to compete in these competitions than any other form of motorsport.
As Maserati GT4 makes its return to motor racing, it is refreshing to see an old name back in the fold. A brand with a rich heritage as that of Maserati deserves to be competing at the highest level and for now, we hope this is the first step among many.