10 settembre 2016
Hockenheim, 10 September 2016 – Day 1 of Round 5 of Challenge Europe, in the framework of the Ferrari Racing Days of Hockenheim, saw wins for Rick Lovat, Fabio Leimer (the first in the Ferrari one-make series), and Sam Smeeth who is now close to the title in Pirelli Am class.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell opened the schedule for the day, with a race filled with individual duels. Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing) had a perfect start, pursued by Thomas Loefflad (StileF Squadra Corse) and Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing). During the third lap Lendoudis (Motor Service) overtook teammate Eric Cheung to take fifth place. The Ladies Cup was decided three laps later, when a motivated Deborah Mayer (Scuderia Niki) went by Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) at the hairpin bend. Two interesting duels for points developed in the late laps: Vladimir Hladik (Scuderia Praha), author of a great comeback, overtook Tommy Lindroth (Baron Service) for seventh place, while Claudio Schiavoni (Scuderia Niki) overtook Christian Kinch (Gohm Motorsport) for ninth. At the finish line Lovat, who also clocked the fastest lap, came in ahead of the championship leader Loefflad and Prinoth and also won the Coppa Gentlemen, thus taking the lead in the standings 3 points ahead of Scheltema (Kessel Racing).
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli delighted spectators with an emotion-filled race from the very start. Fabio Leimer (Octane 126) made a perfect start entering the first turn ahead of Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) and Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). On the very first lap, the race was neutralised by the Safety Car caused by Galip Atar, Jan Danis and Huilin Han; however, on re-start, Leimer took off again, also clocking the fastest lap of the race. The Swiss driver (a former GP2 champion), took a commanding lead, helped also by the duel between Baron and Grossmann who did not shy away from struggling tooth and nail against each other. Grossmann set up the overtake at the hairpin and completed the manoeuvre before entering the Motodrom. At the finish, Leimer came ahead of Grossmann, who strengthened his championship lead, and Baron. The fourth place of Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing), the fifth of Marcello Puglisi (Rossocorsa), and the sixth of David Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) are worthy of mention.
Pirelli Am. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Sam Smeeth, is now close to clinching the title after his fifth win of the season. After a somewhat less than perfect start, the Stratstone Ferrari driver was able to pass Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) and to rush ahead, leaving Nelson, Henrik Hedman (Scuderia Autoropa) and Jens Liebhauser (Gohm Motorsport) to battle for the lower steps of the podium. About half way through the race, the German attacked Hedman at curve 1 but went too far, sideswiping Nelson and wrecking his own race. Hedman thus took second, while Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) climbed the third step of the podium. Tomorrow's schedule opens at 2:20 p.m. with Race-2 of the Coppa Shell, that will start right after the Ferrari Show with Sebastian Vettel and the Scuderia Ferrari.