24 giugno 2017
Budapest, 24 June 2017 – Daniele Di Amato, Jens Liebhauser and Eric Cheung won the first two races of the Ferrari Challenge in Budapest, in a third round of the European series packed with spectacle and excitement.
Trofeo Pirelli. The day kicked off with the Trofeo Pirelli. Daniele Di Amato, dominant at Monza with the 488 Challenge of CDP, was fastest off the mark from pole, immediately outpacing the rest. Alessandro Vezzoni, Fabio Leimer, Philipp Baron and Andrea Gagliardini put on a show behind him. Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) initially managed to hold onto third but soon had a fight on his hands with Leimer (Octane 126) who started to press hard. A little further back it was the same story for Baron, unusually in trouble with the 488 Challenge of Rossocorsa, and his challenger Gagliardini (CDP). At midpoint, Leimer passed Vezzoni with a wonderful piece of overtaking and then was hot on the tail of Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari). Gagliardini also managed to pass Baron but did so by cutting the chicane midway and so was forced to yield the position. The deck was shuffled yet again the final part of the race. Di Amato drove undisturbed but Leimer went into a spin while trying to overtake Smeeth and ended up behind Vezzoni once more. Di Amato and Smeeth crossed the finish line unchallenged, while at the final corner four cars were in the mix for third place, with Vezzoni winning out over Leimer, Baron and Gagliardini. Di Amato is the new championship leader.
Pirelli Am. The drama in the Pirelli Am class all took place in the early laps. At the start Chris Froggatt (HR Owen) collided with championship leader Martin Nelson, forcing the Scuderia Autoropa driver to retire. Jens Liebhauser was undisturbed in first, while Gerald Aubock (Gohm Motorsport), Christian Overgaard (Scuderia Autoropa), Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) and Ferrari Budapest driver Josh Cartu battled it out for the podium. The latter knocked Rocca off the track on the second corner and received a drive-through penalty. Aubock and Overgaard carried on the fight, with the Danish driver eventually beating the Austrian to secure his first podium with the 488 Challenge to add to the others he has won with the F430. Liebhauser carried off the first winner's laurels that had just escaped his grasp at Monza when the German Gohm Motorsport driver had run out of fuel on the final straight. Nelson still tops the standings despite today’s retirement.
Coppa Shell. The second race of the day, the Coppa Shell, kicked off in the afternoon with Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) who clocked the best time in qualifying, but was relegated to the sixth row due to a penalty picked up in the previous round at Monza. The actual poleman Johnny Laursen (Formula Racing) was immediately overtaken by teammate Eric Cheung with a brilliant manoeuvre on the outside at the first corner. At midrace, Eric Prinoth and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) came into contact, with the latter forced to retire. It was a great race for Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing), seventh in the overall standings and winner of the Ladies’ Cup. Cheung managed to keep Laursen at bay to the end for the overall win along with victory in the Gentlemen's Cup. He was the fifth different winner in five races of this season's Coppa Shell. Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing) finished third, ahead of Thomas Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing).
The programme repeats itself on Sunday with the Coppa Shell at 12:50 pm and the Trofeo Pirelli at 3:35 pm.