The Europe and North America series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli 2022 concluded today at the Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola. Eyes are already turning to tomorrow and the eagerly awaited Finali Mondiali.
On the day the European championship saw young Eliseo Donno (CDP - Best Lap) claim his second seasonal victory in the Trofeo Pirelli and yet another win for Coppa Shell champion Franz Engstler (Scuderia GT), the star-studded series crowned two more overall winners. Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) took the Trofeo Pirelli title while Manny Franco (Ferrari Lake Forest) delivered an encore, and Dave Musial Jr. (Ferrari Lake Forest) secured the Am title after finishing third in today's outing won by Dylan Medler (The Collection).
Omar Balkissoon (Ferrari Fort Lauderdale) and Tony Davis (Continental Autosports) won the Am class in the Coppa Shell North America.
Trofeo Pirelli Europe. Eliseo Donno (CDP - Best Lap) clinched his second victory in the European series, outpacing Doriane Pin (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx) and Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi - Courage). The Italian driver, who started from the front of the grid, weathered the champion’s attacks until the Safety Car came out to remove a car stuck in a dangerous spot, freezing the race to the finish line.
In the Am, Marco Pulcini (Al Tayer Motors) triumphed, taking advantage of Fons Scheltema’s (Kessel Racing) exit from the scene, penalised by a drive-through for a contact with another driver. Thus, the Italian confirmed second place in the final class standings, behind Ange Barde (SF Côte d’Azur Cannes - IB FAST), the already proclaimed winner. Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing), victorious in Race-1, sealed the third final place in the class. Christian Brunsborg (Formula Racing) and Hanno Laskowski (Riller & Schnauck - ZvO Racing) joined Pulcini on the podium in the season’s last race.
Coppa Shell Europe. Franz Engstler wrapped up his triumphant season with another victory, achieved on the back of an authoritative performance from first place on the grid to first under the chequered flag and the fastest lap of 1:45.728.
The German champion was followed by Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) and Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing), who, by holding off the assaults of Claudio Schiavoni (Scuderia Niki – Iron Lynx), consolidated his runner-up finish in the championship.
In the Am class, Peter Christensen (Formula Racing) and Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm Motorsport – Herter Racing) ran their own private race, breaking away from the pack and finishing the championship’s final round in that order.
Nussbaumer, who mathematically sealed the series at Mugello, had the satisfaction of the fastest lap time of 1:46.411. Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport Racing) completed the podium.
North America. Today's race grid also welcomed long-time British action movie star Nicholas Hoult, who witnessed the tight battle for the Trofeo Pirelli and Am class title from close quarters.
After twenty-three minutes of thrills, overtaking and contacts and the last seven minutes spent under the Safety Car, due to a car stuck at the side of the track, Jeremy Clarke, who finished fourth today, became the American series champion. He ended the season just four points ahead of Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari), who failed to mount a successful comeback. The newly crowned champion also has Manny Franco to thank.
The latter’s second clean sweep of the weekend, with pole position, fastest lap and victory, deprived all his closest challengers of precious points. Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari Westlake) took the third step of today's podium.
In the Am class, Dave Musial Jr. also defended his lead in the standings with a third place that gave him the title. Poleman Dylan Medler (The Collection) claimed victory in Race-2 after leading throughout, while Aaron Weiss (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) finished runner-up.
With the title already decided, the way was open for Omar Balkissoon in the Coppa Shell, first ahead of Michael Petramalo (Ferrari of Seattle) and Yahn Bernier (Ferrari of Seattle). In the Am class, the season's champion, Tony Davis, triumphed ahead of Richard Pineda (Ferrari of Washington) and Dan Cornish (Ferrari of Austin).
Asia Pacific. In the second race of round four of the Asia Pacific series, Yudai Uchida (Rosso Scuderia) took revenge in the Trofeo Pirelli Am against teammate Nobuhiro Imada, who finished first in Friday's race.
In the Coppa Shell, after starting fourth, Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (Cornes Osaka) completed his comeback, securing victory ahead of Eric Cheung (Blackbird Concessionaires) and Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Shiba). Shigeru Kamiue (European Version) won in the Am.
Ferrari Finali Mondiali. Tomorrow will feature the eagerly awaited Ferrari Finali Mondiali. The action kicks off at 9am with the Coppa Shell Am, followed by the Coppa Shell at 10.10am and the Trofeo Pirelli together with the Am at 11.20am.
The Ferrari Show starts at 1pm with, among other activities, a lap of the track for the new Ferrari LMH, with which the Maranello marque will return to the elite class of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023.
The new 296 GT3 will also notch up its first miles in Italy in front of the public at Imola before tackling major races, sprints and endurance events worldwide.