The verdicts came after another intense day at the Imola circuit. The final acts of the Europe and North America series awarded the last vacant titles and decided the final standings. The battle continued in the fourth round of the Asia Pacific championship. Tension is starting to build, and the focus of many drivers is now on the Finali Mondiali on Sunday morning.
Eliseo Donno, winner Trofeo Pirelli Am Europe: “It was a beautiful race, also because it was difficult due to the Safety Car restarts. I began very well, so we took the race lead and kept it until the end”.
Doriane Pin, runner-up Trofeo Pirelli Europe: “I started my race today from the third row, not a good position, but, on lap one, I quickly climbed up from fourth to second and then back down to fifth. I was making up ground and keeping a good pace when the Safety Car intervened. A second start is never easy, especially if you are not in the lead. However, I am happy with my second place and will now focus on
Thomas Neubauer, third place, Trofeo Pirelli Europe: “I finished in third place, and I’m not too pleased about that. However it went today, the Finali Mondiali is tomorrow, and whether we win or have problems, we will definitely be there”.
Marco Pulcini, winner Trofeo Pirelli Am Europe: “Every race is still very difficult for me, and this was no exception. After my accident, it was hard to put everything behind me and clear my head again. I have worked hard this year to achieve this goal. Having said that: I am not completely satisfied with the pace I set today, but we go away with the win, and we must build on this triumph to improve further”.
Christian Brunsborg, runner-up Trofeo Pirelli Am Europe: “Well, it’s obvious that when you go out on the track, the goal is always first place. But, apart from that, I am quite satisfied. I had a bit of luck in the final part of the race, but in the end, I am happy to have achieved this result”.
Hanno Laskowski, third place Trofeo Pirelli Am Europe: “After yesterday’s race, which was really tough, especially in the final stages, I am more than happy to have secured the podium today”.
Franz Engstler, winner Coppa Shell Europe: “It was a really incredible season. My staff did a perfect job: we never had a single technical problem with the car, and we gained many victories and pole positions. I certainly didn’t expect a year like this when I joined the Ferrari Challenge. It is a tremendous pleasure to be part of this series. It is a fantastic championship, and I truly want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for welcoming me into this family”.
Ernst Kirchmayr, runner-up Coppa Shell Europe: “It was a tricky start. Everyone set out with a lot of ‘passion’, and fortunately, there were no accidents. I am delighted with this podium. This year competition was very intense, and the level of the drivers was very high. So, each podium is a great achievement and an unforgettable moment”.
Axel Sartingen, third place Coppa Shell Europe: “It was an immaculate start. I set off from third position and had planned to drop in behind Franz (Engstler) immediately after the start, but Ernst (Kirchmayr) cleverly pulled in front of me and prevented me from doing so. At that point, I was happy to keep third position to secure second place in the championship. I let Ernst stay ahead of me and focused on keeping my rivals behind me at bay. Luckily no-one tried to attack me. Of course, at times somebody came dangerously close, but the car and tyres performed excellently throughout the race so it was easy tomanage the advantage. In the end, I finished third in the race and second in the championship and that’s fine for me. Tomorrow is another race and I promise you a little more grit and attack!”.
Peter Christensen, winner Coppa Shell Am Europe: “It’s a great weekend, and today’s was a good race. I drove cleanly and maintained a good pace. Honestly, after this morning’s qualifying, which didn’t go so well, I never expected to achieve this result. However, I gave it my all, and the victory came”.
Alexander Nussbaumer, runner-up Coppa Shell Am Europe: “The race went well even though it was long and demanding. I fought for the position with Peter Christensen but wasn’t fast enough to overtake him. However, I am delighted with this second place”.
Martinus Richter, third place Coppa Shell Am Europe: “Today, I started from sixth because qualifying didn’t go very well. I got off to a good start, allowing me to advance immediately, and when I achieved a pace where I could stop defending my position from the cars behind me, I overtook the driver in front and took the third step on the podium. It is a fantastic circuit, and I thank Ferrari for choosing it”.
Manny Franco, winner Trofeo Pirelli North America: “It was an exciting race. I had a lot of fun. You need nerves of steel when you have two opponents fighting for the title, and one of them is right behind you. At that point, you hope it will all carry on working out for the best. You don’t know what’s happening behind you and try to focus on your job. I gave my all to gain victory. The rest is history, now at least”.
Jason McCarthy, runner-up Trofeo Pirelli North America: “It was a great race, a lot of fun. I aimed to collect as many championship points as possible since I was starting second in the overall standings. That’s why I pushed hard for the entire race. Unfortunately, at one point, I pushed too hard at the exit and had to settle for second place. So I had to give up on the championship as well”.
Matt Kurzejewski, third place Trofeo Pirelli North America: “Today went much better than Friday. In fact, yesterday, I was third in qualifying, but the car suffered gearbox problems in the race. However, today the car performed very well, and I could mount the podium. This was my first season in the Ferrari Challenge, and I am determined to continue next year because it is really exciting, incredible. Now let’s look forward to tomorrow and the Finali Mondiali”.
Dylan Medler, winner Trofeo Pirelli Am North America: “I am so pleased to be here in Italy, and I am so happy to have won! It’s a pleasure for me and the entire team. It was a tough race from start to finish, but I gave it my best, and now I am over the moon!”.
Aaron Weiss, runner-up Trofeo Pirelli Am North America: “Today was fantastic. I kept my head down throughout the race, just thinking about driving as smoothly as possible on this beautiful circuit. I offer my congratulations to Dave Musial Jr., who, given his demanding season, deservedly beat me to the top step of the podium today. Of course, I am also delighted with my second place”.
Dave Musial Jr, third place Trofeo Pirelli Am North America: “I love this circuit, and today’s race was very challenging due to a few incidents. I put my head down and simply focused on continuing and finishing the race as best I could, without paying attention to what was happening”.
Omar Balkissoon, winner Coppa Shell North America: “What an incredible race. I had the opportunity to race on this legendary circuit. I really enjoyed it. I must thank my amazing team: the engineers and all the technicians who taught me what I was supposed to do on the track. Also, it was challenging to race with all these fast drivers and to try to keep up with them. I can’t wait to repeat the same excitement next year”.
Michael Petramalo, runner-up Coppa Shell North America: “Great race today. Our focus was simply on delivering the best results for the Ferrari of Seattle team. I am happy to share the podium with my teammate Yahn Bernier who did a wonderful job. I also congratulate Omar Balkissoon, who was very fast. There is no better way to spend the weekend: in Italy, racing at the Imola circuit in a Ferrari”.
Yahn Bernier, third place Coppa Shell North America: “Fantastic race. I took advantage of some small opportunities that arose during the race, and I was also lucky because, when the two cars in front of me collided, I quickly managed to avoid them. It wasn’t easy to finish today’s race because the tyres were starting to wear out in the final laps, and I also had the sun blinding me. It feels great to be on the podium in Italy”.
Tony Davis, winner Coppa Shell Am North America: “For me, it was a race marked by management and calm. Indeed, in the morning’s qualifying, I took class pole, and I didn’t want to risk throwing this result to the wind. I was surrounded by drivers from higher classes who were going very aggressively, so I preferred to stay calm. I just kept the right pace, staying safe so as not to lose first place: I had fun, and I won”.
Richard Pineda, runner-up Coppa Shell Am North America: “A magnificent race, very competitive and exciting. However, the most important thing is still the fact of being here at Imola, racing on this circuit where history has been made. Standing on the podium here, at Imola, is phenomenal”.
Dan Cornish, third place Coppa Shell Am North America: “It was a great race. I made a mistake at the start that risked compromising the race, but I regained my concentration and came back into the fight. Great race!”
Yudai Uchida, winner Trofeo Pirelli Am Asia Pacific: “There was confusion at the start, but fortunately, I managed to improve my position. I stayed with the European drivers, keeping up with their pace. I managed to complete a great race. Imola is a ‘sacred’ circuit for me, and I will have fun tomorrow during the Finali Mondiali”.
Nobuhiro Imada, runner-up Trofeo Pirelli Am Asia Pacific: “I had fun, but it’s very difficult to overtake on this track. I regret not being able to improve my position in the ranking. I wanted to win! My wish for tomorrow is to overtake a lot and cross the finish line first”.
Kazuyuki Yamaguchi, winner Coppa Shell Asia Pacific: “I didn’t do well in qualifying but managed to complete a few overtakes. I am delighted to have achieved first place. Tomorrow will be a special race. Let’s hope it goes well without incident”.
Eric Cheung, runner-up Coppa Shell Asia Pacific: “It was a difficult race for me today as the temperature on track was very high. I have not raced for the last three years so it was also tough for me physically. But I am happy with my results today”.
Motohiko Isozaki, third place Coppa Shell Asia Pacific: “I was lucky. I feel like a survivor. For tomorrow, I will try to do my best”.
Shigeru Kamiue, winner Coppa Shell Am Asia Pacific: “It was tough, but I did well at the start and kept driving smoothly. I am delighted to have won this race. Given that the Finali Mondiali is a special event, I want to race without taking any risks and suffering any accidents”.