After the thrilling round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in late April, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe heads to Austria’s Spielberg circuit at the weekend for the season’s third event. Over 50 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars will line up on the grid for a race where drivers can measure their ambitions as the season gets into full swing.
Trofeo Pirelli. Eliseo Donno’s (Radicci Automobili) lone breakaway at the top of the overall standings was curtailed by a five-second penalty for exceeding the track limits and an off-track exit a few laps from the end in the two Misano races. The young man from Salento, who set record-breaking laps in qualifying and the Romagna race, nevertheless confirmed his talent and is ready to come back strongly in Austria. The experienced Max Mugelli (CDP – Eureka Competition) and ex-Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil (Gohm – Baron Motorsport) will once again vie with him for the lead, along with the young and promising Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) and Bence Valint (Rossocorsa – Ferrari Budapest), who shared the wins in the Italian round’s two races.
However, Franz Engstler’s (Charles Pozzi GT Racing) progress in the Trofeo Pirelli Am appears unstoppable. The German, the winner of the 2022 Coppa Shell, was unaffected by the change of class, stringing together four wins in a row and pulling away in the overall standings. Of his closest rivals, Hanno Laskowski (Emil Frey) and Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing), only the former will race in Austria. However, many others will try to interrupt his winning streak.
Coppa Shell. Axel Sartingen’s (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) double victory at Misano opened a gap on his direct rivals, but the contest remains wide open. Manuela Gostner (CDP – MP Racing) and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) lie respectively 24 and 29 points behind after an unlucky second race in Romagna, as well as Willem van der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), who partially compensated for his untimely exit in Race-1 with pole position and second place in Sunday’s race.
Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing) was an unexpected star in the Coppa Shell Am. After two podiums in Valencia, with three seasons in the North American Ferrari Challenge series under his belt, the Singaporean driver scored his first European victory at Misano, climbing to the top of the overall standings. However, many drivers in the exciting and always very popular gentlemen drivers series have their sights set on success at Spielberg.
Programme. After testing and free practice on Friday 12th, Trofeo Pirelli qualifying is on Saturday from 9 a.m., followed by Coppa Shell qualifying at 9.45 a.m. and the Coppa Shell Am at 10.15 a.m. Trofeo Pirelli Race-1 will kick off at 2 p.m. and Coppa Shell Race-1 at 5.15 p.m. over a distance of 30 minutes. The qualifying programme and the second race of the Trofeo Pirelli will be identical on Sunday 14 May, while the green flag for the Coppa Shell will be at 3.15 p.m.
Qualifying and the races will be broadcast live, free of charge and with English-language commentary, at live.ferrari.com and on the “Ferrari” YouTube channel. In Italy, the Sky platform will broadcast Saturday’s races live on channel 207 (Sky Sport F1) and Sunday’s races live on channel 204 (Sky Sport Arena). In the UK and Germany, the four races will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sport F1, respectively.