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    Ferrari Challenge APAC - Merckx, Xin and Wang triumphs in Fuji Race-1

    15 ottobre 2016

    Oyama, 15 October 2016 – Fuji fully confirmed its reputation as a special circuit in the first race of the sixth round of the Ferrari Challenge APAC championship. It was no coincidence, on a day full of twists and turns, that the winners were the three drivers who top the Trofeo Pirelli, Pirelli Am and Coppa Shell rankings.   Trofeo Pirelli. The first race of the weekend delivered excitement right from the start. Poleman Steve Wyatt maintained first place ahead of championship leader Florian Merckx and Toru Tanaka, who was soon passed by Renaldi Hutasoit. Merckx kept his eye on Wyatt and approached him on lap 4. After six laps Wyatt's lead was cut further and while braking for the first corner of lap 7, the Belgian completed his overtaking manoeuvre. He then immediately pulled away from the Australian also setting the fastest lap. A little later Hutasoit caught up with Wyatt but failed to move past him into second. Merckx has the title firmly within his sights after the third consecutive win: “I was very careful not to make mistakes. I waited for the best moment to attack and when I realised my pace was superior I overtook Wyatt. Then I focused solely on my race and won this victory that is so important for the title.”   Pirelli Am. There were also thrills and spills in the Pirelli Am class where Hiroyuki Kishimoto initially did the lion's share of the work, taking advantage of the collision between Huilin Han and Max Go. The Japanese driver, who started from pole, quickly regained the lead overtaking Eric Cheung and seemed set for an extraordinary win when Han hit him with a few laps to go. The Chinese driver, author of the fastest lap, crossed the finish line first but was penalised so the victory went to championship leader Jin Xin ahead of Cheung and the USA's James Weiland. “I preferred to race carefully avoiding troubles and letting my rivals complicate life for themselves,” said Xin. “This tactic paid off because I managed to pick up maximum points."   Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell race was no less spectacular. Championship leader Liang Wang set off cautiously and was overtaken by Sky Chen who emerged victorious from a hard contact with an opponent. However, after a few laps his 458 Challenge EVO showed that it had paid dearly for the clash, with the right-hand door beginning to open on left-hand turns. Wang soon overtook Chen, clocking up the fastest lap. Chen arrived at the finish line in second but was later disqualified for ignoring the black flag ordering him back to the pits to repair the damage. Ken Seto was thus promoted to second while Paul Montague was third, also winning the Gentlemen's Cup. With this win Liang Wang has virtually sewn up the title: “I am very happy with my season and in Race-2 I aim to wrap things up before the Finali Mondiali in Daytona.”   Safe car. On the last lap Yuan Yang offered further proof of the safety of the 458 Challenge EVO. The Chinese driver, who was fighting on track for a position, lost control of his car and collided violently against the guardrail. The barrier was destroyed while the driver escaped from the car unhurt. The programme will be repeated on Sunday with Race-2 at 9:10 am local time (2:10 am CET).     [playlist4me id="d9799525-7f9e-4a5c-8776-d96be7c889d0"]