Ghanem crowned Champion in sensational finale for Maserati Trofeo JBF RAK at Yas Marina Circuit

First turn on season finale Zamparini leads

Abu Dhabi, 23rd March 2012- Lebanese driver Joe Ghanem came out on top of the inaugural Maserati Trofeo JBF RAK series after two sensational races at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Patrick Zamparini managed to secure two race victories after race-long battles with his closest rivals, it was Ghanem’s consistent running throughout the weekend that secured him series honours. So close was the action that the winner of both races was decided in the closing stages.

In race one, Zamparini transformed pole position, which he acquired with a stellar lap in qualifying yesterday – into victory ahead of Saudi Arabian national Faisal Shaker.

“It was really good,” said a jubilant Italian Zamparini. “In the first race, I overtook two guys and had good pace, even without pushing too much. Then in the second I was having a great fight with Joe. He managed to get past me at one point, but I thought, ‘no way. I’m getting that position back again!’ And I managed to get back past him. I think it would not have been easy to overtake me. Not today!”

wheel to wheel action during last race

Shaker’s strong result also moved him into second place overall in the series ranking. Owing to an early safety car period, caused when Ramez Azzam and Mohammed Jawa came together in the midst of their own battle, Tanni Hanna finished close behind Shaker in third. The Lebanese rookie proved to be a very popular addition to the podium given the reception he received.

Zamparini also secured victory in the second race after a superb race-long three-way battle with Ghanem and Ramez Azzam. At the flag, it was the Canadian who secured second place ahead of Shaker, who secured his second podium of the day and his eighth national podium of the season. Argentinian Justino de Azcarte Riiveroll once again continued his strong run with fourth place, while Kuwaiti Khaled Al Mudhaf finished a sensational fifth after fighting his way through the field from twelfth on the grid.

Race 1 podium

Throughout the season, drivers have competed in Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo race cars. Equipped with a paddle shifts capable of changing gears in 60 milliseconds and 4.7-litre engines producing 488bhp, the handling and precision engineering involved in these amazing racing machines are a true testament to both the sporting heritage the charisma and passion indicative of Maserati.

At a celebratory dinner at the stunning Yas Hotel, Ghanem was crowned series winner, with Shaker and third-placed Zeehog also receiving their plaudits. So close has the racing been this year that less than a race victory separated Shaker and Zeehog in the final standings.

Joe Ghanem is crowned season Champion

Umberto Cini, Managing Director of Maserati Middle East and Africa, was thrilled to see such an exciting finale to a successful first season. “This has been such a great first season for the Maserati Trofeo JBF RAK series. We’ve seen more than twenty drivers from twelve countries compete in the series and produce some truly exciting racing at each of the world class venues we’ve visited. Congratulations to all the drivers for keeping us on the edge of our seats all through the year.”

Umberto Cini, Managing Director of Maserati Middle East and Africa, was thrilled to see such an exciting finale

Final Championship standings 2011/2012

Pos

Driver Name

Round 1
Bahrain

Round 2
Bahrain

Round 3
Yas Marina

Round 4
Losail

Round 5
Dubai

Round 6
Yas Marina

Total

1

Joe Ghanem

38

45

52

52

27

DROP

214

2

Faisal Shaker

38

32

DROP

26

41

50

187

3

Zeehog

36

DROP

40

25

40

26

167

4

Mohammed Jawa

36

21

26

24

29

DROP

136

5

Khaled Al Mudhaf

24

24

27

DROP

23

33

131

6

Tani Hanna

19

18

18

DROP

21

33

109

7

Osamah Shaker

DROP

18

21

21

20

27

106

8

Fahad Al Gosaibi

DROP

47

47

9

Saadon Al Kuwari

DROP

40

40

10

Cheerag Arya

DROP

18

18

 

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