Berro leading Maserati towards sportscar racing

CLAUDIO BERRO, who has been head of Ferrari's press office since 1997, is the new head of the competition department of Maserati and the word on the street in Italy is that the company (which is a Ferrari subsidiary) is planning a sports car program to support its sales drive.

Maserati cannot compete in Formula 1 because of Ferrari, despite its heritage which dates back to 1926 when the Maserati Brothers launched their first Grand Prix car. The firm was at the forefront of racing until the company went into receivership in April 1958. The company's many triumphs included the World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the Sebring 12 Hours. Maserati was always more successful in Grand Prix racing than in sportscars but with Ferrari in F1 Maserati has decided to gear up for a European one-make sportcar series in 2003 followed by a full sportscar program in 2004 and beyond, by which time the various competing championships will have reunited.

Berro's place at Ferrari has been taken by Luca Colajanni, who was previously in charge of the team's Internet activities. It is worth noting that in the latest list of management Stefano Domenicali has become Formula 1 Sporting Director while last year's Director of Racing Nigel Stepney is now listed only as chief mechanic.

Berro is well qualified to run Maserati operations as prior to joining the media department at Maranello he was team manager for a year. Berro joined Ferrari from Peugeot Italy where he was team manager for eight years after a career as a co-driver in Italian rallying.

Berro will also be in charge of the Ferrari Challenge operations.

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