Alfieri Maserati found his company in 1914 and started racing in 1926. A year later they won the Italian constructors’ title with his brother Ernesto taking the drivers’ title. Success since then has included many notable victories in Grand Prix and Sports Cars; two Indy 500 wins, and with Fangio at the wheel of a 250F the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship. With evocative designs and the innovative ‘Birdcage’ series the name Maserati is well established in the pantheon of motor racing greats. The staging of two Maserati-only races over the weekend at Donington was a unique opportunity to see the famous marque in action.
the drivers of these cars weren’t going to spare the horses, but similarly weren’t going to take an aggressive ‘elbows out’ BTCC approach either…
Many of the cars featured in the event have an interesting history not just of their racing exploits, but of how they’ve survived. An example being the 1935 Maserati 4CS piloted by Adam Painter. Its history is too long to give all the details here, but in brief it has returned from the Far East having been variously, taken apart, hidden, stored in parts, re-assembled, and is now back in racing trim.
As well as famous cars, famous stars also took part, most prominent being ace musician Mark Knopfler.
Understandably the drivers of these cars weren’t going to spare the horses, but similarly weren’t going to take an aggressive ‘elbows out’ BTCC approach either. Although the excursion through the gravel at the esses by Joaquin Folch probably caused a few palpitations given the value of these cars.
In Sunday’s race the Cooper Maserati Monaco T61 (with Mk1 Cortina rear lights!) of Michael O’Shea (the racing co-ordinator for the Maserati Club UK) took the first prize with the T61’s of Alan Minshaw and Chris Wilson in second and third. Monday’s second race had a depleted finishers as the gremlins struck. Alan Minshaw gained first place with Stephen Bond’s 250S second and Steve Hart’s 300S third.
Pictures: Chris McEvoy