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Jan 29, 2014 - 08:00 PM
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Renaud Kuppens, the Trofeo Maserati King
Posted by: newsla on Jan 29, 2014 - 07:57 PM
Sports Cars
Renaud Kuppens, the Trofeo Maserati King


Abu Dhabi and the last round in the 2013 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series saw all the prizes handed out. The most prestigious award, the Overall title, again went to Renaud Kuppens, as it did in 2012. Before the season started, everyone knew he was the man to beat. The way he dominated the opening, European, rounds only confirmed the form he showed last year and set him up for a new tilt at the title. Even so, things had not been tied up going into the final round with Mikkel Mac still in with a shot.

 

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Still, Kuppens kept his cool and, at Abu Dhabi despite a difficult first race, he picked up the points he needed to give him the crown. He celebrated by taking Race 2. Race 3 was taken by Ange Barde as he continued to shine in the endurance event, as he had at Sonoma and Shanghai.

However, Kuppens was the undoubted star: he took seven pole positions and eight wins. The stats speak for themselves: the Trofeo has its king.

Renaud, you competed twice and won twice, which was the tougher season?
“The first season was fantastic with an international calendar, amazing circuits and I was an unknown so it was simpler for me. Doubling up was always going to be more difficult as all eyes were on me and the other drivers were battling to win and fight it out”.

You have raced against some good drivers over the past two years. Who did you fear most?
“The best driver I have faced is Giorgio Sernagiotto. I recall two particular races at Sonoma and Paul Ricard. He is a great competitor”.

What about your rival in 2013?
“The duel with Mikkel Mac was unusual as I got off to a fine start and built up a healthy lead in the standings that meant I could drive within myself in the second half of the season. This was completely different to last year. I would like to take the chance to congratulate Mikkel as he showed how committed and sporty he was during the entire year”.

Of all the series around, why did you choose the Trofeo Maserati to display your talents?
“There are a few reasons. The main one was the atmosphere, which is really friendly, but also because it is nice being around Italians. The vibe is great, as is the international calendar that means we can race all over the world. I don’t think there is anything to beat it”.

What is your most memorable race?
“Sonoma in 2012 because it was my first race in the USA and where I managed to win in front of my friends and my American partners. Sonoma has since become my favourite circuit and things didn’t go too bad this year either. In two appearances, I have chalked up four pole positions and four wins”.

And one you’d prefer to forget?
“I’d say Silverstone. I don’t really know why but I don’t feel comfortable there. If I had to forget a round, it would definitely be this year at Nuerburgring. I don’t have good memories of the place as I lost my friend Pietro”.

Can you sum up 2013?
“It was superb, even though I was a bit concerned with the new regulations that penalised the quicker drivers during the endurance race pit stop. This happened to me four times and I proved that it is possible to win despite this handicap by focusing on the sprints”.

When did you realise that you could win the title again?
“Like last year, the moment came after Sonoma. The big difference is that last year the US leg was the penultimate round whereas this year there were still two more rounds to go”.

What do you have planned for 2014?
“My aim next year is to defend my title. I am proud to have my name in Maserati history in the year in which the company celebrates its centenary”.

Who do you dedicate this title to?
“I would like to thank my family, my team, my friends and the sponsors who support me”.

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