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    Ferrari Challenge APAC - Race-1: victory in the hands of Merckx, Weiland and Wang

    05 marzo 2016

    Suzuka, 5 March 2016 - Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific kick-started the 2016 season at the legendary sanctuary of motorsports, Suzuka Circuit, today with 35 drivers from 12 countries participating in the opening race. The 5.807 km circuit saw a blistering race among the drivers with many fans witnessing the fierce battle on the first day.   Trofeo Pirelli. Steve Wyatt, the 2015 Asia Pacific Challenge champion, made his return and was looking forward to the start of the 2016 season. He faced a strong field of contenders, including Florian Merckx who was third in the Trofeo Pirelli 2015 classification in Europe. Florian lost his pole position and dropped two positions during the qualifying round due to a penalty when he crossed the white line. However, he managed to fight his way to the front and lead the pack all the way to first spot. Close behind him Renaldi Hutasoit from Indonesia and third was Toru Tanaka from Japan, who had to fight off both Steve Wyatt and George Chou from Taiwan.   Pirelli AM. The Pirelli AM race also resulted in a dramatic close race between James Weiland from United States and Eric Cheung from Canada with less than a second separating them. In the end, Weiland triumphed over Cheung and took the first position for Pirelli AM classification. He commented during the press conference that he was really happy to compete in one of the best circuits in the world, Suzuka, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to join the APAC Challenge. The track was great and he loved the speed and cornering that the circuit offered. In third position was Hidehiko Hagiwara from Japan who came in at 28'57.677.   Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell classification, it was Liang Wang from China to win, followed by Ken Seto from Japan and Yugo Tanabe, also from Japan, who came in third. It was a vast improvement for Wang who only managed 2 podium finishes in 13 races last season. When asked what preparations he had done to win the race, he remarked that he prepared himself better mentally and emotionally this season. Race 2 will start again tomorrow at 1.30 PM local time (5.30 CET).