This weekend the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza will host the first round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, the continental series that is celebrating its twenty-ninth edition. Forty-two 488 Challenge Evos will compete in the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell classes, with an exciting mix of new faces and welcome returns.
Trofeo Pirelli. The premier class contest will see some of the 2020 Trofeo Pirelli Am drivers promoted to the higher category. Frederik Paulsen, reigning Formula Racing champion, will face Michelle Gatting (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx), winner of round 6 at Misano last year, John Wartique (Francorchamps Motors Luxembourg - D2P), victor at Spa-Francorchamps, and rookie Luka Nurmi. At 16, the Finnish Formula Racing driver will be the youngest competitor in Ferrari Challenge history.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. This is the most crowded category in the series with sixteen entrants. Many drivers will set off with serious title ambitions, starting with Matúš Výboh (Scuderia Praha) and Roger Grouwels (Kroymans - Race Art), last year's Coppa Shell champion. Plenty of rookies will also be making their first appearance on the Lombard circuit at the wheel of a 488 Challenge Evo. Arno Dahlmeyer (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx), Hugo Delacour (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), Sergio Paulet (Santogal Madrid - MST Team), Jorge Daniel Pinto (Francorchamps Motors Luxembourg - D2P) and Omar Jackson (HR Owen - FF Corse) are the new faces who will challenge, among others, the returning Ange Barde (SF Côte d'Azur Cannes).
Coppa Shell. Anticipation is high for the Coppa Shell, a class that historically provides great entertainment and excitement. After Grouwels' promotion to the Trofeo Pirelli Am, all eyes are on Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport). The Austrian will cross paths with 2020 Coppa Shell champion “Alex Fox” (SF Grand Est Mulhouse) and series veterans like James Weiland (Rossocorsa), Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) and Christian Kinch (Formula Racing). Josef Schumacher (Eberlein Automobile) will also make his series debut.
Coppa Shell Am. Thirteen gentlemen drivers will compete along the fast 5,793-metre Monza circuit with debuts, repeat appearances and returns. Martinus Richter (Mertel Italo Cars Nürnberg), Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) and Germana Tognella (Rossocorsa) will make their debuts in the 488 Challenge Evo, and Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport) returns to the series after a year's absence. They will meet, among others, experienced drivers such as Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen - FF Corse), Willem Van Der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), Michael Simoncic (Baron Motorsport) and Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing).
Programme and live coverage. The first round of the season, which will take place behind closed doors, provides a compact formula that concentrates activities over three days. Testing will be held on Friday, while, on Saturday, after qualifying, the action will kick off with the first Coppa Shell race, starting at 3:30 pm, and the Trofeo Pirelli, which begins at 4:45 pm. Sunday's programme is similar, with the official qualifying to decide the starting grid for Race-2. The Coppa Shell race will get going at 2 pm, while the 30-minute Trofeo Pirelli outing will start at 3:15 pm. In Italy, all races will be broadcast live on Sky Sport F1, with pre-race links on Sky Sport 24. Live commentary in English will be available on live.ferrari.com, while additional content, videos and images will be published on the revamped Ferrari Races website (https://www.ferrari.com/races).