The North American leg of Ferrari Challenge crowned its first champion of the 2022 season as Tony Davis used a second-place finish to cap off a tremendous run of 10 podiums in 12 races to be the Coppa Shell Am category champion. Meanwhile the rest of the Challenge field will look to Imola to secure their championship positions after a tremendous weekend in wine-country at Sonoma Raceway.
Trofeo Pirelli. Roberto Perrina (Ferrari of Seattle) took his maiden win of the season in his only Challenge weekend of 2022 in a hard-fought affair with eventual second-place finisher Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari of Beverly Hills). Jeremy secured the pole position earlier in the day but Roberto was able to assume the lead and held on throughout the remainder of the 30-minute contest, but only just, winning by two-tenths of a second. Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Quebec) took a surprise podium finish after qualifying quite a bit further back, but made deliberate progress throughout the race despite the inherently tricky nature of the Sonoma circuit for passing. Meanwhile, championship contender Jason McCarthey (Wide World Ferrari) suffered a setback in his charge for a second consecutive title after he elected to start from the back of his category and fit fresh rubber after a puncture in qualifying. While he had a tire advantage and he did ultimately make progress, the tight nature of the circuit blunted his progress and he ultimately finished 5th. In the Am category, it was a repeat performance for Dylan Medler (The Collection) as he surged to his second-ever Ferrari Challenge win in as many days. Medler clearly bonded with an otherwise slippery surface that bedeviled many drivers in the championship. Further back, Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) secured second ahead of Aaron Weiss (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) in third. A hard-fought battle for top Am positions saw many drivers use every body panel on their Ferrari 488 Challenge Evos to nudge their opponents into a disadvantaged position, with the battle scars well evident at the end of the 30-minute contest.
Coppa Shell. Justin Rothberg (Ferrari of Palm Beach) secured the win in Sunday’s action at Sonoma Raceway. For the second time in as many days the Coppa Shell category races were interrupted by a red flag as three cars seemed to find the barriers nearly simultaneously, though in different corners. Race directors decided to halt the race while clean up was effected to maximize the competitive opportunities for drivers. Omar Balkissoon (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale) seized on the opportunities and secured his first podium in the category since the opening race of the season in Texas, six months prior while Brent Holden (Ferrari of Newport Beach) rejoined the podium festivities with a third-place effort. In the Am category, Michael Mathes (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) secured the victory on Sunday after making his first podium appearance in Saturday’s race. He was followed by newly crowned Coppa Shell Am-class champion Tony Davis who finished two seconds shy. The duo engaged in a pitched battle for the lead of the race in the early stages and on either side of the red-flag until Rothberg was able to push through with an excellent pass. Dan Cornish (Ferrari of Austin) meanwhile secured his return to the podium with a third-place effort.