St. Petersburg, Fla. (11 March 2018) –After winning Saturday’s opening race of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season on the streets of St. Petersburg, 2016 series champion Martin Fuentes repeated the feat on Sunday as he stormed to the GTA Class victory with the No. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3.
Fuentes started the race from sixth on the two-class field, and was able to factor immediately in the 50 minute sprint race. Holding the lead from start to finish, Fuentes fought off the advances of his fellow GTA competition through three restarts to claim victory.
“Racing on a street circuit like St. Pete is always stressful-the walls are too close!” said Fuentes following the champagne celebrations. “It is great to be back in Pirelli World Challenge-it is a great championship and I love the format. I am back with Ferrari and back on the podium, so it feels really good. You cannot afford any errors here and this track requires a lot of courage. We pushed 100% and it feels great to be back on top this weekend.”
After notching a run to second place with the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 on Saturday, Toni Vilander saw his chances at a podium return evaporate after making contact with the wall as he raced in podium position. The accomplished Finn had opened the race from fourth on the grid and had moved smartly up to run in third before the incident, which ended his day early.
The race ended ten minutes short of the scheduled race distance following a high speed accident suffered by a competitor that caused damage to the track barriers. Series officials checkered the race early due to the time constraints for anticipated track repairs.
Pirelli World Challenge will return to action on March 23-25 at the Circuit of the Americas as the series opens the Sprint-X championship with a doubleheader race weekend. Updates to be posted via races.ferrari.com