If you take a Maserati GranTurismo S, the road version with its electronically activated gearbox, and add the requisite roll cage and track suitable brakes, you have the makings of a race car. If you then allow the sanctioning body of GT racing in Europe, SRO, to test the car and tune its horsepower and “balance its performance” running on spec Pirelli tires so that it competes about equally with the other makes in the field, you have a race car. The car can then be run by amateur drivers in GT4, the least powerful, but still competitive class, of sports car racing.
A limited number MC GT4s will produced for what the company calls “gentlemen drivers” who wish to race in the 2010 European Cup and/or national series. The tentative price, to be finalized this October when the car goes on sale, is $179,000 (value added tax not included), plus trailer, tools and expenses. The cars will be sold directly through Maserati Corse, which started racing again five years ago in the FIA GT Championship with the more powerful the MC12.
The car was officially unveiled earlier this week during the FIA GT “Media Days” at the Paul Ricard circuit. At least one GranTurismo MC will be entered by an unnamed private team and run in some GT4 European Cup events during the second half of this season. Other approved models include the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi TT, BMW M3 and Z4 coupe, Chevrolet Corvette C6, Ford Mustang FR500C and the Nissan 350Z. (more…)