Honda website
Honda website

MARCH 22, 2005

A parallel history

It is interesting to reflect on the current F1 situation with regard to Ferrari and the problems that arose in America at the weekend over Maserati's involvement in the Sebring 12 Hours. Maserati was until recently Ferrari's sister company and its sporting programmes were run by Ferrari people (with Ferrari attitudes and technology). It is no secret that the Maserati MC12 GT car is based heavily on the Ferrari Enzo. It seems that the Italians want to trade off the glamour of the Maserati brand in the American Racing Series just as they do with Ferrari in F1. The problem is that the MC12s do not conform with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's GT rules that have been adopted by the American Le Mans Series. However, it seems that the ALMS sanctioning body IMSA is not too bothered about such things because it rejected a protest from Aston Martin, saying that while the event was run to ACO rules it was not bound to abide by them and could allow whatever cars it wanted to compete. A furious David Richards, the boss of the Aston Martin team, said that while his team welcomed competition it was imperative that all cars conformed to published technical regulations. Richards made the valid point that without long-term stability GT racing is never going to attract new manufacturers.

The Italians do not seem to care. The MC12 is too wide to meet the ACO's maximum width regulations but Maserati says it cannot modify the cars.

Sounds familiar?