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    Weekend notebook: Triumph in Japan

    Maranello 26 settembre 2022

    From Japan came the greatest satisfaction of the weekend: in GT World Challenge Asia, in addition to the race win, were also adjudicated the overall and Silver, Pro-Am and GT3 class titles in the Japan Cup. China’s Zhuzhou track rewarded Ferrari with its first success in the China Endurance Championship. While Ferrari enjoyed its strongest race of the 2022 GT World Challenge America at Sebring International Raceway, battling to two wins and podium finishes in all three classes. Maranello cars made the podium in the GT Open at Monza and will take the Pro-Am class drivers' title fight to the deciding round in Barcelona. In Belgium, in the Le Mans Cup, rain put a damper on the race for all the drivers involved.

    GT World Challenge Asia. Triumphant weekend for Ferrari at the Okayama circuit in Japan, for the eighth round of the GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS. After Saturday's double, with a pair of Prancing Horse cars in the top two places, came another title in Race 2. Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino in the CarGuy Racing-run 488 GT3 Evo 2020 took the crown in the special standings for GT3 cars after becoming Japan Cup champions both in the overall class as well as in the Pro-Am category. Kimura-Cozzolino pipped rivals Jefri Ibrahim and Nick Foster by just three points at the end of a vibrant race, decided in the dying moments, with the two cars involved in an accident which eventually saw their rivals sanctioned. In the same event, driver Naoki Yokomizo celebrated the title in the Silver class, starring in the number 27 Ferrari of the Yogibo Racing team, finishing the season with a 32-point margin over the runners-up.

    GT World Challenge America. In the Pro category, series debutants Alessandro Balzan and Manny Franco took second after finishing in fourth in Saturday’s races. Balzan captured the pole for Conquest Racing on Sunday and led the first half of the race in the No. 34 Corsa Horizon Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. After the pit stop exchange, Franco rejoined the event fifth overall, made three passes down the stretch to take second overall despite being pressured by another competitor all the way to the checkered flag.

    Meanwhile in the Pro-Am category after a difficult day on Saturday when Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel finished 13th overall and 8th in their category, the team bounced back on Sunday. The No. 13 Triarsi Competizione 488 GT3 Evo 2020 led for the opening 49 minutes before the pit stop cycle when Wetherill took over before ultimately falling back to finish in third. In the Am category, it was another weekend of domination for the No. 23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 who took their ninth and tenth consecutive class victories on Saturday and Sunday with already crowned series champions, Onofrio Triarsi and Charlie Scardina behind the wheel. The campaign concludes on Saturday, Oct. 8, with the Indianapolis 8 Hour at the famed Brickyard. 

    CEC. Maiden victory for the no. 488 GT3 Evo Ferrari 2020 of the Harmony Racing team in the China Endurance Championship. After the overall second place in the championship opener and success in the Silver Cup class on the Ningbo track, the triumph arrived on the Zhuzhou international circuit. First past the finish line were Alex Jiatong Liang and Alexandre Imperatori, who were joined in this round by Charles Hon-Chio Leong from Macau. The weekend had got off to the best possible start for the drivers from the Harmony Racing team, who also managed to claim the pole position in qualifying.

    GT Open. Monza staged the penultimate act of the series. On Saturday, Race 1 was marred by rain, plenty of accidents, four Safety Car incursions and a red flag that halted the race several minutes before time. The 488 GT3 Evo 2020 cars missed out on victory, but the two Kessel Racing team crews, Roman Ziemian paired with Axcil Jefferies and Murat Ruhi Cuhadaroglu with David Fumanelli, nevertheless took second and third respectively in the Pro-Am class. The positions were reversed in Race 2 for the two Maranello cars, with Cuhadaroglu-Fumanelli taking the lead in the special category table with a single point advantage, 54 compared to the 53 of Basz-M. Jedlinski. Further joy for Fumanelli for having set the fastest overall lap in Sunday's qualifying.

    Runner-up spot in the Am class in Saturday's race went to the Swiss team’s other Ferrari crewed by Stephen Earle and Erwin Zanotti. Laurent De Meeus, racing on the Brianza track together with Jamie Stanley in the AF Corse entry, occupied third position on a quota of 50 in the Am class.

    The forthcoming October 16 will see the final date of the season at Barcelona.

    Le Mans Cup. The event at Spa-Francorchamps was affected by heavy rain, so much so in fact that the race organisers ordered a rolling start behind the Safety Car, which remained out on track for the opening 15 minutes. The Safety Car would be called out twice more during the race. The no. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with Gino Forgione and Andrea Montermini battled throughout for the lowest step of the podium, finishing the race in fourth place a whisker behind rivals.  The final round of the Le Mans Cup series season is scheduled for 16 October at Portimão.

    26 settembre, 2022