Leaders in the general standings of their respective classes - Michelle Gatting (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx) in Trofeo Pirelli and James Weiland (Rossocorsa) in Coppa Shell - clinched the pole positions in the opening qualifying sessions of the Ferrari Challenge third round on the spectacular Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. In Trofeo Pirelli AM class the fastest was Roger Grouwels (Kroymans - Race Art), while in Coppa Shell AM, Willem Van Der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) will get the race underway from the first position.
Trofeo Pirelli. The challenging curves and spectacular changes in elevation of the Moravian circuit made for a thrilling start to the first qualifying session, which was briefly interrupted to clear up the track after Marco Pulcini (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing) and Sergio Paulet (Santogal Madrid - MST Team) span off, however, without serious consequences.
Snatching pole position with a blistering lap time of 2:03.382 was Michelle Gatting. The Danish driver managed to outrun young Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) by 117 milliseconds, confirming the tremendous impact made in the Ferrari Challenge and her fine confidence aboard the 488 Challenge Evo. Starting behind her will be Ferrari stable-mates Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing) and the returning Niccolò Schirò (Rossocorsa) who improved over the course of the session. Fifth place went to local talent Matùš Výboh (Scuderia Praha) ahead of John Wartique (FML - D2P).
AM class served up a fine battle for the pole position, with Roger Grouwels prevailing, topping the times 40 milliseconds ahead of an excellent Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) and 71 milliseconds clear of Ange Barde (SF Côte d'Azur Cannes). Fourth position went to Hugo Delacour (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) and fifth for the other Italian, Alessandro Cozzi (Formula Racing).
Coppa Shell. After an initial reconnaissance phase on the circuit, drivers set the battle in motion, against the clock, in the second part of the session, which was interrupted for several minutes to restore the track after Martinus Richter (Mertel Italo Cars Nürnberg) spun off finishing against the safety barriers. When the racing resumed it was current leader of the general standings James Weiland (Rossocorsa), who made the decisive move to clinch pole position with a time of 2:05.592. Behind, in under 2:06, was "Alex Fox" (SF Grand Est Mulhouse), while Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) will start from third place, who was only on track for the final minutes of the session. Fourth was Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing).
The competition had already been decided before the forced stop in AM class, with pole position claimed by Willem Van Der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), who will start ahead of Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) who also span off against the barriers and Italian driver Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing).
Schedule. Race 1 of the Coppa Shell is scheduled for 14.30, while Trofeo Pirelli gets the green light at 15.45.