Le Mans, 9 June – Competitors in the European and the Italian Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series get a unique opportunity this weekend to raise the curtain on the famous 24 Hour race, when they tackle one race with separate classifications for each series. Today, the 458 Challenge cars in the one-make series took to the legendary 13.880 kilometre French track for a sixty minute qualifying session which saw Alexey Vasiliev set the fastest time (4.05.825). The new berlinetta was well up to the task of dealing with this particularly demanding Le Mans circuit, proving to be a perfect match of technological innovation, creativity and passion.
At the end of the session, pole position for the European series, the tussle for pole in the Trofeo Pirelli category saw the driver of Ferrari Moscow, Alexey Vasiliev, emerge unquestionably fastest, ahead of Max Blancardi of Motor/Malucelli (4.06.864) and Philipp Baron of Baron Service (4.06.942). Equally closely fought was the battle in the Coppa Shell, where Dennis Andersen of Formula Automobile (4.10.745) proved to be quickest followed by Philippe Prette of Motor/Malucelli (4.11.014) and Jean-Marc Bachelier of Motor/Piacenza (4.12.120). The F430 fight ended in favour of Holger Harmsen of Lueg Sportivo (4.26.861) followed by Gerald Grohmann of Warm Up (4.29.392) and Christian Overgaard of Formula Automobile (4.31.611).
Among competitors in the Italian Trofeo Pirelli went to Giorgio Sernagiotto (4.06.068) together with Giuseppe Fascicolo, second overall behind the poleman Vasiliev. The drivers of Motor/Piacenza were followed by Stefano Gai of Rossocorsa (4.06.641) and Dario Caso of CDP (4.08.375).
Of the drivers in the Coppa Shell, the best time was set by Benedetto Marti of Motor/Piacenza (4.08.630) ahead of Mario Molteni di Rossocorsa (4.11.443) and Erich Prinoth-Vincenzo Sauto of Ineco/MP (4.13.504) while, of the Trofeo Pirelli drivers still running the F430 Challenge car, the fastest lap was set by Giorgio Raffaeli/Andrea Montermini of Ineco/MP (4.14.473) who outpaced Andrea Belluzzi (4.17.334) and Mario La Barbera/Giosuè Rizzuto (4.22.846) of Motor/Modena.
Racing begins at 11.15 on Saturday when drivers will take to the track for a 45 minute race around the Sartre circuit where, just a few hours later the Le Mans 24 Hours will get underway.
6/8/2011The engines fire up at Le Mans
Le Mans – The countdown to the Le Mans 24 Hours has begun, leading up to the 79th edition of the race this weekend.
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