A year of change for the Challenge
Maranello, 21 February – Maranello’s Corse Clienti department has recently announced changes to the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli that come into effect this season. The one-make series is now in its twentieth year and once again the number of entries has risen, with no less than 28 nationalities represented, as it continues to grow. As ever it is carefully split into two categories, for gentleman racers, the Coppa Shell and for drivers with previous racing experience, the Pirelli Trophy.
As from 2012, the Italian and European series will be combined into one European one, running alongside the North American and Asia-Pacific series. After a one year apprenticeship, the 458 Challenge will be the sole eligible car, replacing completely the F430 Challenge. Young drivers continue to be taken under the series’ wing and once again benefit from a lower entry fee for the Under 25s and those youngsters in the Trofeo Pirelli also have their own trophy, the Coppa Giovani to fight for. There is also a Coppa Gentleman for those over 55. Other changes for 2012 regard the duration of the races, which now last for 30 minutes each, while the rest of the timetable remains the same with two 30 minute qualifying sessions, one to decide the grid for Race 1 and the other for Race 2, as well as an hour of free practice.
The new European Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli gets underway at the Monza circuit over the weekend of 1st April in a busy season that takes in eight rounds of two races each, making a total of 16 races.
Silverstone, home to the first ever Ferrari Racing Days in Europe, makes a return to the calendar over the weekend of 16 September, after a five year absence and on 1st July, Budapest is also back on, having last staged a round in 2010.
The opening event of the season for Ferrari Corse Clienti gets underway at Suzuka on 18 March, with the first Ferrari Racing Days of the Asia-Pacific series, which features five rounds this year, in Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore, before the Ferrari World Finals, the event that traditionally brings the racing season to a close, when competitors in all three of the one-make series fight it out for the world title.
After the opening round in Japan, a country with which the company has shown great solidarity since the terrible earthquake back on 11 March last year, the calendar then moves on to stage two races in Shanghai, China on 29 April and 10 June, for the second Ferrari Racing Days, followed by a round in Sepang on 2nd September. It then makes its debut at the Singapore street circuit as a curtain raiser to the fifth Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix over the weekend of 23 September.