KUALA LUMPUR: It’s been 60 years since the Maserati Tipo 61 came out victorious at the 7th edition of the Nurburgring 1,000 kilometers held at the Nordschleife in Germany.
The iconic car recorded a memorable double with Masten Gregory and Lloyd Casner behind its wheels. Continuing its winning spree the Maserati Tipo 61 won again next year, this time Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney commending the machine.
As a tribute to these wins, the cars were customised with white-blue paint, the shades inspired the Maserati MC12 Stradale. This particular supercar which dominated the early 2000s recently passed on the torch to the new MC20 that in a way is reviving the company’s racing DNA.
The Maserati Tipo 61 was one of the five models designed by Giulio Alfieri and was nicknamed the ‘Birdcage’. Why? Well, because of its unique chassis, an intricate structure with almost 200 tubes combined in a complex assembly resembling a birdcage. These unusual design methods called for a more rigid and lighter chassis. Thus making the Tipo 61 the ultimate solution for front-engined, rear-wheel drive racers.
As for its birth story, it all started with the manufacturing of the Tipo 60 in March 1959. However, in order to comply with the technical requirements to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, it was transformed into the Tipo 61.
The Tipo 61 sourced its power from a 2,900 cc four-cylinder engine that made a maximum power output of 250 hp at 7,000 rpm. It is to be noted that it retained the Tipo 60s layout and solutions with the weight increasing from 570 to 600 kg and top speed bumping from 270 to 285 kmph.
Furthermore, its massive power output didn’t transcend into high fuel consumption. During the races, the Tipo 61 managed to reduce the number of re-fueling hats, vital in endurance races.
Both Tipo 61 and Tipo 61 within a year of production gained supremacy in the international racing scene. A position that Maserati is once again planning to achieve with the MC20.
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