The FIA GT Championship was a sports car racing series organized by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) at the behest of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The championship was mostly concentrated in Europe, but throughout the years has visited other continents including Asia and South America. At the end of 2009, the championship was replaced by the FIA GT1 World Championship, which morphed into the FIA GT Series for 2013.
The MC12 was developed to signal Maserati’s return to racing after 37 years. Maserati designed and built the car on the chassis of the Enzo Ferrari, but the final car is much larger and has a lower drag coefficient. The MC12 is longer, wider and taller and has a sharper nose and smoother curves than the Enzo Ferrari, which has faster acceleration, better braking performance (shorter braking distance) and a higher top speed. The top speed of the Maserati MC12 is 330 kilometres per hour (205 mph) whereas the top speed of the Enzo Ferrari is 350 kilometres per hour (217.5 mph).
Vitaphone Racing is a German racing team who participate in the FIA GT Championship. The team is actually Bartels Motor & Sport GmbH but runs under the title of their primary sponsor, Vitaphone GmbH. In 2011 Vitaphone Racing was renamed Vita4One. They have successfully raced the Maserati MC12 GT1 since 2005, becoming one of the most successful GT teams in the series with five FIA GT1 Teams’ Championship and four FIA GT1 Drivers’ Championship. The team consists of 32 people and is led by Rafael Calafell. Their chief drivers are Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini.
The car entered production in 2004, with 25 cars produced. A further 25 were produced in 2005, making a total of 50 cars available for customers, each of which was pre-sold for €600,000 ($670,541 USD).