The first day of racing of the third round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe 2023, at the Spielberg circuit in Austria, saw a return to victory for Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili) in the Trofeo Pirelli and a first win of the season for Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) in the Coppa Shell, run on a wet track.
Maiden wins for Hanno Laskowski (Emil Frey) in the Trofeo Pirelli Am and Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Motors Shiba) in the Coppa Shell Am of the European Prancing Horse single-marque series.
Trofeo Pirelli. Eliseo Donno put the unfortunate races at Misano behind him and returned to the top step of the podium on the Styrian circuit, after having led the race pole to flag. Having clinched pole position with another record time of 1:29.549, he was the only driver to go below the 1:30 barrier. The young driver from Salento held the lead at the start, gradually increasing his advantage over his pursuers, right the way through to the chequered flag. Behind him were, in order, Bence Valint (Rossocorsa - Ferrari Budapest), who also earned the additional point for the fastest lap of 1:31.139, and Thomas Fleming (HR Owen - FF Corse). There was a thrilling battle between Max Mugelli (CDP - Eureka Competition) and Adrian Sutil (Gohm - Baron Motorsport), with the latter in fourth at the end, producing a fine comeback after having been the victim of an early collision that had sent him into a spin. Posting sixth, behind Mugelli, was Szymon Ladniak (Gohm - Scuderia GT), who did well to make up six positions from the starting grid.
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Hanno Laskowski turned a pole position into his first win in the Prancing Horse single-marque series, putting an end to the winning streak of Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing), who finished runner-up while claiming the additional point for the fastest lap of 1:31.696. First podium for Philippe Prette (Formula Racing), third, who managed to get the better of Mohamed Hamdy (Ezz Elarab Automotive Company), penalised for an off-track excursion, but nevertheless producing an excellent showing.
Coppa Shell. The long-expected weekend rain arrived at the Austrian circuit a few minutes before the start, forcing the teams to fit wets and a rolling Safety Car start to avoid any risk of aquaplaning. At the green flag, Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm - Scuderia GT), on pole thanks to a qualifying lap time of 1:31.241, initially managed to hold onto the lead ahead of Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo - Herter Racing) and Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport), until the latter, thanks to a couple of skilful manoeuvres, managed to overhaul both, going on to take his first win of the season with the fastest lap to boot. Nussbaumer rounded off the Austrian one-two ahead of Sartingen, who retained the lead in the general standings.
With Willem van der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) fourth and Roger Grouwels (Kroymans - Race Art) fifth, there was also a tight battle for the mid-group positions of the race which featured a total of 59 overtakes: coming off better was Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), sixth ahead of Christian Kinch (Gohm - Herter Racing) and Manuela Gostner (CDP - MP Racing).
In the Coppa Shell Am, the first overall win for the Japanese driver Motohiko Isozaki, who took the lead in the early stages, successfully fending off the attacks from polesitter Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing), who finished runner-up. Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport) climbed onto the third step of the podium, while fourth was Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing), who also collected the additional point for the fastest lap of the race.
Programme. Tomorrow, Sunday 14 May, the schedule includes qualifying for the Trofeo Pirelli at 9.00 a.m. with the race- start at 2.00 p.m. The Coppa Shell qualifying gets underway at 9.45 a.m. and the Coppa Shell Am qualifying at 10.15 a.m. with the green flag for all at 3.15 p.m.