The European series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is back in action over the seven kilometres plus of the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, for the first time since 2007 and for the fifth round of the season. Today saw the thirty four entrants in the European division take part in two qualifying sessions and the first of this weekend’s two races. Star of the day was Philipp Baron who dominated Race 1 and he starts from pole in Race 2.
Spa-Francorchamps, 6 August- The first qualifying session saw reigning champion Philipp Baron fastest at the wheel of the Baron Service’s 458 Challenge in a time of 2.29.713, followed by the current leader of the championship Max Blancardi (Motor/Malucelli) and Rory Bertram (Munsterhuis). In the Coppa Shell the “pole battle” went to Yannick Mallegol (Motor/Piacenza) who was third fastest overall (2.30.027), ahead of Johnny Laursen of Formula Automobile and Philippe Prette of Motor/Malucelli. Of those drivers running the F430, the quickest was Holger Harmsen of Lueg Sportivo (2.38.018) ahead of Torbjorn Ekstrand of Autoropa and Christian Overgaard of Formula Automobile. The second qualifying session to decide the grid for Race 2 tomorrow at 12.50 was again dominated by Philipp Baron (2.28.971) who was fastest ahead of Rory Bertram and Alexey Vasiliev (Ferrari Team Russia). Seventh overall for Jean-Marc Bachelier of Motor/Piacenza (2.30.717) first of the Coppa Shell runners, followed by Johnny Laursen and Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa/Pellin), while of those running the F430, pole once was fought out between Torbjorn Ekstrand (2.36.186) followed by Christian Overgaard and Holger Harmsen.
The event came to life with the 25 minutes of Race 1, which culminated in a win for Philipp Baron, who drove a great race on his way to the top step of the podium. The Baron Service driver crossed the line ahead of Alexey Vasiliev (Ferrari Moscow) and Max Blancardi, who both produced competitive performances, pulling in valuable championship points. Equally closely matched was the battle in the Coppa Shell: Philippe Prette took the victory ahead of Yannick Mallegol and Klass Hummel while the F430 Challenge winner was Christian Overgaard who finished ahead of Holger Harmsen and Torbjorn Ekstrand.
Tomorrow’s programme features Race 2 run over 35 minutes, getting underway at 12.50. The two Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli races will be shown live and replayed by 13 European broadcasters in over 60 countries, while in Italy the event is covered by Sky Italia with replays of the two races over the course of the week.
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