The first night race in the history of the Ferrari Challenge North America sees a familiar face on the top step of the podium: Cooper MacNeil
claimed victory at the end of a race characterized by a long phase of Full Course Yellow, crossing the finish line ahead of John Megrue
, winner of the Trofeo Pirelli Am. Jason McCarthy
and Justin Wetherill
, on the other hand, are the winners of the Coppa Shell and the Coppa Shell Am categories respectively.
With more than thirty-eight cars ready to do battle into turn one, contact is inevitable and many of the top drivers were involved in accidents that excluded them from the race, requiring the Safety Car.
With MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Westlake) and Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island) holding their respective class leads, the incidents forced retirements from Muzzo
. The Full Course Yellow phase lasted almost twenty minutes, giving the protagonists of the Ferrari Challenge just under ten minutes to determine the first winner of 2020.
At the restart the drivers adopted a more cautious approach before again focusing on the battles at hand. At the frontMacNeil and Megrue chased each other for overall success and Chouest
(Boardwalk Ferrari) and Rubbo
(Ferrari of Long Island) for third place overall. In the Coppa Shell category, McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari), from seventh overall, controlled Booth
(Ferrari of Atlanta) and Gaio
(Miller Motorcars) in the best possible way, keeping two Trofeo Pirelli Am drivers, Zekelman
(Ferrari of Ontario) and Horejsi
(Ferrari of Newport Beach) in the middle.
Rubbo boosted the pace and, after overtaking Chouest, moved into Megrue's slipstream to try to get the better of the surprising Ferrari of Long Island driver. The chequered flag, however, fell before the pass could be completed handing Rubbo second in his class behind Cooper MacNeil, while Chouest completes the Trofeo Pirelli podium.
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am category, Megrue was unrivalled and ahead of Dave Musial
(Ferrari of Lake Forest), fifth overall, and Zekelman, eighth, finishing second overall in an excellent race. In the Shell Cup, McCarthy won authoritatively with Gaio and Booth at his side on the podium, but they were off the track. Justin Wetherill (Ferrari of Central Florida), instead, took advantage of the confusion of the first lap to cross the line in first position ahead of Aitken
(Ferrari of Houston) and Lawler
(Ferrari of Seattle).
Tomorrow, at 11:05am, the 488 Challenge will be back on track for qualifying for Race 2 which will start at 18:45 local time (ET).