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    Ferrari Challenge Europe - Grossmann, Atoev and Scheltema win at Sochi

    30 luglio 2016

    Adler, 30 July 2016 – Two experienced drivers won on the first day of the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe, held at the first ever Ferrari Racing Days in Russia. Bjorn Grossmann triumphed in the Trofeo Pirelli and Fons Scheltema in the Coppa Shell, while we saw the birth of a star, 17-year-old Vladimir Atoev, a product of the SMP Racing Academy, who triumphed on his debut.   Trofeo Pirelli. The day's programme opened with the Trofeo Pirelli, which saw a close race from start to finish. A fantastic head to head at the flag between the two 458 Challenge EVOs of Octane 126 saw Bjorn Grossmann slip into the lead at the first corner ahead of star rookie Fabio Leimer (2013 GP2 champion). A little further back Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa), Aleksey Basov (Motor Service) and Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) attempted to thread their way through together on Turn 1, with Baron cutting across part of the track to slip into third ahead of Basov and Smeeth. Grossmann stretched his lead recording the fastest lap of 2:14.100, while Baron was ordered to give way to Basov. Grossmann finished in front of his teammate Leimer while Baron crossed the line third but later received a penalty of 13 seconds to end up behind Basov to the delight of thousands of spectators who had flocked to the Sochi Autodrom.   Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am offered, if possible, an even better show, with lots of overtaking and the discovery of a young star, 17 year-old Russian Vladimir Atoev. At the start the poleman Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) was involved in a close encounter with two other cars. Indeed, the Brit came into contact with Aleksey Basov and Philipp Baron, wasting time and allowing Atoev to gain ground. The young Motor Service driver thus managed to pass Smeeth and next time round decisively stretched his lead with the fastest lap of the race. Shortly after John Farano (Rossocorsa) also overtook Smeeth and established a bit of an advantage. However, Smeeth soon began pushing back to pass Farano who defended his podium spot against the attacks of Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa). So victory went to Vladimir Atoev on his debut.   Pirelli Am. The Coppa Shell thrilled fans with a typically close battle. At the start Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing), who had made a detailed study of the starting procedure, flashed past championship leader Thomas Loefflad (StileF Squadra Corse), who then regained his position but made a mistake to end up in a spin. At that point Eric Cheung led Lovat, Scheltema (Kessel Racing) and Lendoudis (Motor Racing), but the Motor Service driver had jumped the start and was penalized with a drive-through. Lovat appeared all set for victory but in the last two laps Scheltema went full throttle. He attacked first on the home straight and then overtook his teammate on the opposite side of the track for his third career win ahead of Lovat and Lendoudis. He also took the Gentlemen's Cup while the Ladies Cup went to Deborah Mayer (Scuderia Niki) who notched up a career best with tenth place.    
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