Maserati in motorsport
Throughout its history, the Italian auto manufacturer Maserati has participated in various forms of motorsports including Formula One, sportscar racing and touring car racing, both as a works team and through private entrants.
Maserati was very successful in pre-war Grand Prix racing using a variety of cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (two straight-eights mounted parallel to one another).
Sports and GT cars
Maserati's post-war factory effort in sports car racing began in 1954 for the second season of the World Sportscar Championship. The factory raced as Officine Alfieri Maserati.
World Sports Car Championship
Maserati scored points in all but one year of the first era of the World Sports Car Championship from 1953 to 1961. Both factory-entered and privately-entered cars were eligible to score points for the manufacturer. At the end of 1957 Maserati retired the factory team from racing though they continued to build cars for privateers.
In the 1953 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed thirteenth.
In the 1955 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fourth.
In the 1956 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed second including a win at the 1000 km Buenos Aires and the 1000 km at the Nürburgring. The win at 1956 1000 km Buenos Aires was a Maserati 300S sports car driven by Stirling Moss and Carlos Menditéguy.
In the 1959 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fourth.
FIA GT Championship
Maserati returned to sportscar racing in 2004, entering the Maserati MC12 in the FIA GT Championship. Since 2005 the MC12 fielded by Vitaphone Racing Team won five teams' championships and four drivers' championships in a row.
FIA GT1 World Championship
Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini won the inaugural GT1 World Championship for Drivers in the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship driving a Maserati MC12 for the Vitaphone Racing Team. The Vitaphone Racing Team won the GT1 World Championship for Teams.
List of Maserati sports and GT racing cars
- Maserati A6GCS Sports Car
- Maserati 350S Sports Car.
- Maserati 300S Sports Car.
- Maserati 250S Sports Car.
- Maserati 200S Sports Car.
- Maserati 150S Sports Car.
- Maserati 450S Sports Car.
- Maserati Tipo 60 Sports Car
- Maserati Tipo 61 the "Birdcage" Sports Car
- Maserati Tipo 63
- Maserati Tipo 64
- Maserati Tipo 65
- Maserati Tipo 151
- Maserati Tipo 154 the "Racing Van"
- Maserati Barchetta Sports Car
- Maserati Ghibli II Open Cup gt Car
- Maserati Trofeo series gt Car.
- GT3 Racing Car
- Maserati MC12 GT1 Racing Car
- Gran Turismo GT4
- Gran Turismo GT3
The Maserati Biturbo Group A racing car competed unsuccessfully in the British Touring Car Championship in the late 1980s, the European Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship (1987).
The cars for the 1987 World Touring Car Championship season were entered by /Imberti. The car was in Group A Division 3 competing against the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and later in the season Ford Sierra RS 500. The car was driven by Bruno Giacomelli, Armin Hahne, , Mario Hytten, Nicola Tesini and Kevin Bartlett.
Maserati participated in Formula One motor racing during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Its works Formula One programme was broadly successful, providing a total of 9 Grand Prix wins for the factory team. In addition, Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1957 World Championship of Drivers with a Maserati 250F.
Maserati designed two Formula One cars: the Maserati 4CLT and the Maserati 250F, and the pre-World War II Maserati 4CL was also used with some success. In addition, the Maserati A6GCM, designed as a Formula Two car, was also used in F1. Due to financial difficulties in the late 1950s the team had to withdraw from Formula One in 1958 despite the 250F still being successful. Privateers continued to use the 250F until 1960.
In the 1960s, Maserati supplied engines to British Formula One team Cooper. The most successful car of that collaboration was the Cooper-Maserati T81, which had a Maserati V12 engine. It won the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix and the 1967 South African Grand Prix, driven by John Surtees and Pedro Rodríguez respectively.
Beginnings of Formula One operation
The 1948 Maserati 4CLT was one of the first cars built to the new Formula One regulations, introduced in 1946, and was developed from the 1938 Maserati 4CL voiturette car. The older design was still competitive despite the hiatus of World War II and was entered into Formula One races when racing resumed after the war. Its success encouraged Maserati to develop the car's design and these refinements were brought together as the 4CLT.