The thirtieth edition of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe arrived at Hockenheim for round four of the season. Doriane Pin (Scuderia Niki – Iron Lynx) won the Trofeo Pirelli and Franz Engstler (Scuderia GT) the Coppa Shell in two hard-fought and thrilling races on the demanding German circuit. Ange Barde (SF Côte d’Azur Cannes - IB Fast) triumphed again in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, while Christian Herdt-Wipper (Saggio München) came out on top in the Coppa Shell Am.
Trofeo Pirelli. Following an exhilarating lap by the historic F430 Challenge, the race was heated from the start, with Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) trying to surprise polesitter Doriane Pin. The young Frenchwoman battled him hard, regaining the lead before the Safety Car came on following an accident involving Marco Pulcini (Al Tayer Motors) and Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi – Courage). The pair were both forced to retire. Pin crossed the line first, earning an extra point for the day’s best lap time. A combative Eliseo Donno (CDP - Best Lap) came in behind her. However, he surrendered second place to Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) due to a ten-second penalty for a collision with Adrian Sutil (Gohm Motorsport), who was in turn delayed by a penalty for overshooting the track limits.
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Ange Barde secured his seventh win in eight races, extending his lead in the overall standings, also courtesy of the extra point for the fastest lap. Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing) secured his second consecutive podium finish, skilfully fending off an attempted comeback by Arno Dahlmeyer (Scuderia Niki – Iron Lynx). Alessandro Cozzi (Formula Racing) and Hanno Laskowsky (Riller & Schnauck - ZvO Racing) also fought a thrilling battle, with the latter taking advantage of a hesitation by the Italian to beat him to fourth.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell took on a German hue with the victory of Franz Engstler, triumphant again after his first-round win at Portimão. Starting from pole, the home driver set an unbeatable pace, even keeping his concentration when the Safety Car came out after contact between the Coppa Shell Am drivers Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing) and Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport Racing). Engstler also posted the day’s fastest lap, the only driver to break the 1’44” mark, further extending his lead in the overall standings. He now lies nine points ahead of Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo), third behind a surprising Alessandro Giovanelli (Rossocorsa) on his Ferrari Challenge debut. Thomas Gostner (CDP – MP Racing) finished just off the podium, ahead of Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) and Manuela Gostner (CDP – MP Racing). The latter received a five-second penalty at the finish for veering off the track. Roman Ziemian (FML - D2P) was unlucky, forced to pit on the last lap, leaving him fourth.
A German driver also triumphed in the Coppa Shell Am, with Christian Herdt-Wipper repeating his Race-2 victory at Budapest. In a race featuring seventy-one overtaking moves, second place went to Andreas König (Scuderia GT), who made up ten positions from the starting grid and third to Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm Motorsport - Herter Racing). Penalised with a drive-through, Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) attempted a comeback, even recording the best lap time, which earned him an extra point in the standings. However, he still finished eighth.
Programme. The second day of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe at Hockenheim will follow the same programme tomorrow, with Coppa Shell qualifying from 9.05am and the race at 2.20pm, while the Trofeo Pirelli time trials start at 11.55am with the green light at 5.20pm.