29 gennaio 2016
Daytona Beach, 29 January - After two days of driving under heavy rain and slick conditions, the deep azure Florida skies welcomed the drivers of the Ferrari Challenge to Daytona International Speedway for the first round of racing in the 2016 season. The 3.56-mile road course, recognized for its steep banks, saw much action in the first race of the weekend. Although many drivers proved their talent on track from high speeds to overtaking in the corners, the caution flag flew three times during the 35-minute race.
Trofeo Pirelli. The action during the day's race remained at the front of the field among Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari Quebec), Gregory Romanelli (The Collection), Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston), and Martin Fuentes (Ferrari of Beverly Hills). With some of the fastest times marked, the seasoned drivers in the Trofeo Pirelli class were able to clear out of Turn 1 when the race went green. However, veteran driver Carlos Kauffman (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) was not so lucky, hitting the barrier at Turn 6 in the first lap. This caused the first full-course caution of the race. Romanelli clocked the fastest time with a lap of 1:49:875. Anassis finished at the top of the podium steps in first place, Romanelli in second, and Perez in third.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Newcomers to the series found the greatest success today in the Trofeo Pirelli AM class. Steve Johnson (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale), who started third in his class at the start, battled his way through the field to finish in first place. Newcomers Caesar Bacarella (Ferrari of Long Island) and Lance Willsey (Ferrari of Central Florida) had the greatest success of all. Both raced for their first time as Ferrari Challenge drivers, and although rookies in the series, stood second and third on the podium steps. Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) nearly saw his chance for a win, but with correct alignment and quick adjustments, Bacarella and Willsey bypassed the traffic in the midfield.
Coppa Shell. Veteran driver Joe Courtney (Miller Motor Cars) was unstoppable today. From his exits out of turns and the speeds clocked alongside the straightaways, his success followed him straight to first position in his class. His biggest contender remained with Jean-Claude Saada (Boardwalk Ferrari) throughout the race. Ultimately, Saada finished second and Rodney Randall (Miller Motor Cars) came in third.
Race 2 will precede the 24 Hours at Daytona at 9:45 AM EST (3:45 PM GMT) with the classic endurance going green 2:10 PM EST (8:10 PM GMT).