The racing relative of the Ferrari Enzo, the Maserati MC12 GT looks out of place on the public road. At 202-inches long and 82-inches wide, it doesn’t lend itself to narrow, pockmarked, sinous mountain roads. However, try telling an ex-DTM driver that.
Michael Bartels has seen action in the aforementioned category, as well as the European Le Mans Series, and FIA GT — where he raced this monster back in the mid-2000s. Fortunately, this particular MC12 GT wasn’t one of the few condemned to a life of collecting dust in barns or sitting underneath showroom lighting; Bartels has entered this monster in German hillclimbs as of late.
With its 6.0-liter V12 making 623 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque, there’s more than enough to turn the 345-section rears into grey-blue smoke. Then consider how the wheelbase, the startling length of those overhangs, and the wide tires all contribute to a snappy breakaway. Once it lets go, even a driver of Bartels’ caliber has a hard time keeping it pointed in the right direction, as we see below:
With such a narrow window between grip and slip, Bartels has to respect the Maserati’s rotational intertia and drive accurately, clinically, and without any sort of unnecessary exuberance, or suffer an expensive wreck. After all, some of these cars go for eight-figure prices.
That Prost-like accuracy and understatement is a treat to witness, as it’s so rarely seen in these sorts of hillclimbing events. He avoids major slip angles, but still uses every inch of the road. Here’s a master at work showing the wannabes how it’s done—start takin’ notes.