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MASERATI TROFEO WORLD SERIES: Monti takes Championship lead

Romain Monti secured the win in Race 2 at the second round in the Maserati Trofeo World Series. At Spielberg, Austria, the Frenchman repeated his victory at Paul Ricard, again in the second race. In doing so, Monti hit back at Marcos Martinez after the Spaniard claimed yesterday’s event. Monti now leads overall on 58 points, overtaking the absent Riccardo Ragazzi (36) and Ange Barde (25).

Maserati Trofeo
The race itself was full of incident and saw the lead swap hands more than once. For the first time this weekend, the drivers lined up on a dry surface at it was Giuseppe Fascicolo who made the most of his pole position to take the lead. Taken out of the running early on was Stephane Panepinto after he was shunted by Swede Fredrik Blomstedt. Blomstedt was punished with a drive through, one that he took on lap 5 when leading. This lap also saw Fascicolo call it a day when sitting in second. So, Lino Curti moved into the lead followed by Romain Monti, despite having an extra 30 kg on board after yesterday’s second place. Monti was in a good spot but tracked by Alessandro Proh, Claudio Giudici and Andreas Segler.
Another turning point came on lap 15 when the safety car was radioed to allow Giudici’s vehicle to be towed away. Giudici had been contesting the lead with Lino Curti and Blomstedt when he slammed into the wall along the straight; Blomstedt had climbed through the field after his drive through.
The race restarted when there were only a few minutes left but there was time for the Swede to first edge past Lino Curti before having to pull out with mechanical problems. Monti was quick to make the most of the Italian’s error to grab the led, one he held until the chequered flag. Behind him came on the podium came Lino Curti and Andreas Segler, who had fought back from row six. Next up came Proh (partnered by Mauro Trentin), Alessandro Iazzetti, Mario Cordoni, Richard Denny, Panepinto, Carlo Curti (Lino’s brother) and Jaime Hernandez, the Spanish journalist who shares the drive with Martinez.
The weekend also saw two GT4-spec cars on track. They were driven by Michael Bartels and Niklas Lilja but did not pick up any series points.
Spielberg marks the end of the European legs of the championship. Round 3 will be held at Road America, USA, on 28 June.
“It was an exciting race that was run in different conditions from the rest of the weekend”, commented Romain Monti. “We managed to race on a dry track for the first time. I started carefully and didn’t take any risks before starting my comeback from row five to the top of the podium”.