03 aprile 2016
Monza, 3 April 2016 – Philipp Baron, Sam Smeeth and Thomas Loefflad roared to victory in the second race of Round 1 of the Ferrari Challenge Europe at Monza, coming first in the Trofeo Pirelli, Pirelli Am and Coppa Shell classes.
Trofeo Pirelli. At the start, Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) did a superb job of staying in the lead, while Matteo "Babalus" Santoponte also started strong, speeding past Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) and Marcello Puglisi (Rossocorsa) at the first chicane. At the halfway point, there were no real surprises to speak of, with Baron, "Babalus", Puglisi and Grossmann in the top four. The European champion began to close in on Puglisi, before succumbing to a puncture and having to bow out. In the next round, it was the turn of "Babalus" to take a risk at the exit from the Ascari chicane and losing valuable time after almost touching the barrier. The Italian’s error propelled Baron to victory, clocking up his 14th win at the wheel of the 458 Challenge, while "Babalus" succeeded in fending off Puglisi’s challenges, taking second place. Baron is the now the championship leader.
Pirelli Am. Echoing Race-1, in the Pirelli Am class, the race began with Sam Smeeth taking full advantage of pole position, gaining ground on his opponents. This time, the Englishman from the Strastone Ferrari team powered through the race without the slightest hiccup, finishing more than ten seconds ahead of Saturday’s winner Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa). The duel for third place saw a magnificent duel between John Farano (Rossocorsa) and Andreas Segler (StileF Squadra Corse), with the German driver eventually prevailing. Smeeth is the leader of the championship at the end of Round 1.
Coppa Shell. The last race of the day culminated in a noble battle for the podium with two fierce duels, one between championship leader Thomas Loefflad and Erich Prinoth for first place and the other between Renato Di Amato and Rick Lovat for third. The race was not dominated by incessant overtaking - rather, it was a war of nerves, based on super-fast lap times. At one point, Prinoth forced Loefflad to an error at the first chicane, but the StileF Squadra Corse driver managed to hang tough. Contact was also made between Loefflad’s 458 Challenge EVO and the Ineco MP Racing car, but without major repercussions. With his eye on third place, Lovat attacked at the last lap and both the Canadian from Kessel Racing and Di Amato (CDP Team) went wide at the first chicane. Despite being without his rear bumper, Di Amato succeeded in taking third place on the podium. Prinoth, second, took home the Gentlemen’s Cup for drivers over-55, while the Ladies’ Cup went to Manuela Gostner, who was ninth overall. The next race takes place later this month at Mugello.