06 maggio 2018
Monterey, Calif. (5 May 2018) - A breezy, cool, Northern California day greeted nearly 70 Ferrari Challenge race cars in the rolling hills of Monterey, CA for round three of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli championship in North America. The nearly two months after the conclusion of the previous round in Austin, Tx did nothing to dampen the competitive spirit of the drivers.
Martin Burroues (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale), Trevor Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) and Francesco Piovanetti (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale) stood atop the podium in the 458 EVO race in the early afternoon. The first race of the weekend saw great respect from all of the drivers as they battled through the eleven corners that make up WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Early on in the race, it seemed that Francesco had a commanding lead, deftly defending from second place. After eight laps, however, Francesco suffered a spin, loosing his rear bumper and lead in the process. Trevor Baek gave it his all to pressure Martin Burroues into making a similar mistake, but to no avail. Eileen Bildman (Ferrari of Long Island) took her maiden Ladies' Cup victory in the 458 race.
Coppa Shell AM
John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island), Dale Katechis (Miller Motorcars) and Kevan Millstein (Ferrari of San Diego) took first, second and third respectively in the first race of the weekend for the Coppa Shell AM class. John took a lights to flag victory, regularly mixing with the Coppa Shell competitors, and finishing sixth overall in a multi-class race. Dale Katechis rose to his second place finish only in the last few laps and just before a race-ending safety car neutralized the field. Kevan Millsteinsimilarly took advantage of Brian Simon's (Cauley Ferrari) misfortune to rise to third.
Thomas Tippl (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) continued his winning ways in the Coppa Shell class, beating out Mark Fuller (Ferrari of Westlake) and Richard Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) for the win. Thomas has well and truly established himself as the championship favorite, also setting the fastest lap of the race and taking a lights-to-flag victory. Behind, Mark Fuller had a decent gap to Richard Baek until the safety car came out, but behind Richard Baek was a race-long battle between Chris Carel (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) and Michael Fassbender (Ferrari North America).
Trofeo Pirelli AM
John Boyd (Ferrari of Denver), Rob Hodes (Ferrari of Washington) and Alfred Caiola (Ferrari of Long Island) made up the top three positions in the Trofeo Pirelli AM class in Race 1. John's victory was a lights-to-flag affair, and he regularly mixed with the Trofeo Pirelli class, finishing sixth overall. Further back, it wasn't until lap 17 that Rob Hodes and Alfred Caiola were able to slip past Ross Chouest (Ferrari of Palm Beach) who tumbled down the order in the last few laps.
A storming drive from Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) saw him rise from 8th on the grid to the victory over Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) and Joseph Rubbo (Ferrari of Long Island). A race-long battle between Marc, Joe, and Chris Cagnazzi (Ferrari of Long Island) put the leading three at a disadvantage when Cooper came storming up behind them. The Ferrari Beverly Hills car clearly was not going to take no for an answer and put on some very forceful and demonstrative moves, both at the entrance to the Corkscrew as well as into the Andretti Hairpin. The win also gave Cooper some breathing room in the championship after Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) could only manage ninth.