Know what to choose and what awaits you according to your current level of skill

Maserati’s history has been intertwined with motorsport from day one. Whether it was Juan Manuel Fangio and his F1-winning Maserati 250F or Warren Wilbur Shaw conquering Indianapolis 500 two times in a row in 1939 and 1940 with his Tipo 8CTF, racing was and to some extent still is synonymous with Maserati. A proper way to get a taste of that legacy today is by joining the Master Maserati driving courses.

What is Master Maserati?

Master Maserati is the brand’s driving school that lets you have a go at the full range of Maserati models in a controlled environment, under the guidance of seasoned instructors with a strong racing background in the discipline’s top tiers.

Master Maserati is split into five workshops, each with a different level of difficulty and focus: Practice, Qualifying, Race, Championship, and Off-Road Rally Stage.

We’ll get back to them a bit later on in the article. Each course is held at the Varano de’ Melegari track found some 30 km (19 miles) south-west of the city of Parma. The circuit provides both on- and off-road facilities and is nicely located in the Italian countryside. Lunch is covered by the fee and is usually served at The Circuit restaurant.

Tell me more about the Varano de’ Melegari track

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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Built in 1969, the track has seen some of motorsport’s icons race here on various occasions, including Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Clay Regazzoni, and Jacques Bernard "Jacky" Ickx with the Ferrari 312B Formula 1 car.

The circuit, now integrated into the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti, is 2.35 kilometers long (that's about 1.46 miles), has 14 turns (out of which 8 are left-hand, and 6 are right-hand), and a track width that varies between 10 and 12 meters (33 and 39 feet, roughly).

It’s also FIA-certified and has been designed in such a way that it’s both challenging and forgiving, says Maserati.

This is where you’ll learn the basics of racing: visual reference points, lines, braking, nailing the right apex in corners and carrying speed through exits. Not to mention how understeer and oversteer work for or against you. Also on location is a low-grip area and a slide machine, coupled with an off-road section that includes rutted trails, steep inclines, descents, as well as natural obstacles.

This is where you’ll learn the basics of racing: visual reference points, lines, braking, nailing the right apex in corners and carrying speed through exits. Not to mention how understeer and oversteer work for or against you. Also on location is a low-grip area and a slide machine, coupled with an off-road section that includes rutted trails, steep inclines, descents, as well as natural obstacles.

Varano de’ Melegari track by the numbers

Varano de' Melegari Circuit
Length 2,350 meters
Turns 14
Left-hand turns 8
Right-hand turns 6
Max width 12 meters
Min width 10 meters
Direction counter-clockwise

Master Maserati - Practice (€790)

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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To rate each workshop’s difficulty, Maserati uses a graphical system that involves four stylized steering wheels. Practice, for example, is rated as a low difficulty course, and gets one steering wheel out of four. You can consider it the entry level section in the Master Maserati world.

This course stretches over half a day and is destined for those who want to master the track driving basics. It can host up to 30 participants, and you’ll be getting one-on-one guidance from Maserati’s instructors, and as a result, you’ll become a better driver and sharpen your skills. Some of the cars you’ll take to the limit include the Maserati Quattroporte, Ghibli, Levante, GranTurismo, and GranCabrio.

Once you complete this course, you’re eligible for the next step, which is Qualifying.

Master Maserati - Qualifying (€1,950)

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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Qualifying spans over a full day, it is rated at two steering wheels out of four when it comes to difficulty, and ups the ante with driving sessions where the idea is to push yourself to the limit, make a mistake, and then correct it. Up to 30 participants can join it at a time, and the one-on-one guidance is still offered, but with a focus on trying to go as fast as possible. As we said, mistakes are welcome since they provide the base that supports your skill-honing process.

At the end of each driving sessions, your instructor will provide feedback based on telemetry data that picks up info on shift points, accelerator position, braking force, steering angle, and engine speed. Plus, in-car cameras will help you improve your technique behind the wheel.

Master Maserati - Race (€3,900)

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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Now, this is where things begin to get really hot, both in terms of what you’ll be doing and price-wise. Race is a one-day course that culminates with driving sessions inside the Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4. That’s right; you’ll be at the helm of a full-blown race car, held in the bucket seat by a six-point harness.

The course starts with a set of exercises that will allow you to get accustomed to the GT4’s feisty nature. Then, you’ll jump in and hit the track, where it promises to put your sporty driving abilities to the test. And to top it all off, you’re also in for timed, competitive driving sessions under the guidance of a complete team of mechanics and pro drivers. Other cars involved in this workshop are the likes of Maserati Maserati GranTurismo, GranCabrio, Quattroporte, and Ghibli.

Master Maserati Race is rated at three steering wheels out of four. Below you’ll also find a detailed look at the GranTurismo MC GT4.

Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 specs

Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 Specs
Weight 1,400 kg
Engine 90-degree V8
Displacement 4.7 liters
Gearbox 6-speed sequential
Output 480 horsepower
Power to weight ratio 0.34 horspower/kilogram
Windows plexiglas
Doors and hood carbon fiber
Aero elements front spoiler, rear wing, rear diffuser
Roll cage high-strength steel

Master Maserati - Championship (€6,300)

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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Rated at four steering wheels out of four, Championship is the ultimate Maserati driving experience. This is as real as it gets because you’ll have your own paddock team, personal coach, and access to even more detailed telemetry and car data. Heck, Maserati will even let you use the Ferrari F1 team’s MedEx physiotherapists - they’ll help you cope with the effects of G-forces.

The icing on the cake, however, are the hot laps with Andrea Bertolini, Maserati factory driver, and FIA GT champion. This way, you’ll be able to experience the GT4 in a setting that’s not normally accessible to the public.

Master Maserati - Rally Power Stage (€1,950)

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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In case circuit laps with Maserati’s hottest cars are not your bread and butter, then perhaps you’ll enjoy the Maserati off-road experience. As part of it, you’ll take the brand’s first-ever SUV - the Levante - on a course that will test both the car and your off-road skills by throwing at you deep mud, slippery surfaces, and uneven ground.

Rally Power Stage is a one-day workshop for up to 24 participants, and at the end, you’ll get on track and have your way with the other models in the Maserati range.

What about the Master Maserati instructors?

Well, in Maserati’s own words, you’ll be working with "highly qualified, professional instructors chosen for their skills and experience in world-class competitive performance driving." The team is made of 50 drivers and instructors that share a wealth of experience in Formula 1, WEC, and WRC.

The team is led by Andrea de Adamich, who won the 1965 Italian Formula 3 Championship. His résumé includes driver positions at Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, McLaren, and Brabham. Another prominent name is Andrea Bertolini. He played a pivotal role in the development of the Maserati MC12 Versione Corse, which helped him secure the FIA GT champion title in the GT1 class three times.

What else can I get from Master Maserati?

Your Full Guide To The Master Maserati Driving Courses
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For starters, you can get a tailor-made experience if for some reason you find the workshops, not to your liking. You can specify your favorite vehicle or vehicles, pick what exercises you’d like to insist on (oversteer, high-speed training, telemetry, and small track), and even suggest a date that’s compatible with your schedule.

Moreover, besides the racing/driving bit, you can also book visits to the Modena plant, AGAP and Mirafiori plant in Turin, and Collezione Umberto Panini which is filled with history-rich classic Maseratis.

Master Maserati at a glance

Master Maserati Courses
Practice Qualifying Race Championship Off-Road Rally Stage
Dates 15 July, 16 September, 6 November 11 September, 7 November 26 September 26-27 June 27 September
Price €790 €1,950 €3,900 €6,300 €1,950
Guest €150 €150 €150 €300 €150
Participants up to 30 up to 30 up to 12 up to 12 up to 24
Duration half day one day one day two days one day
Lunch and accommodation included included included included included

Further reading

2014 - 2015 Maserati Ghibli Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Maserati Ghibli.

2017 Maserati Quattroporte Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Maserati Quattroporte.

Maserati Levante Trofeo grabs Porsche Cayenne Turbo by the throat with V-8 engine Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Maserati Levante Trofeo.

5 Amazing Surprises on the First Day of The Goodwood Festival of Speed
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Read our full review on the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS.

2016 Maserati Levante High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Maserati Levante.

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