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Worth the wait

10 marzo 2021

Ben Pulman

After last November’s postponement, the 2020 Finali Mondiali took place this past weekend at the Misano World Circuit in Italy

This Finali Mondiali was different, of course, but nonetheless over 50 drivers and their cars from the XX Programme, F1 Clienti and the Ferrari Challenge were in action to conclude the 2020 season. While travel restrictions reduced the number of participants, and the event took place behind closed doors, some elements didn’t change: close competition, on a spectacular circuit, in the finest race cars from the Prancing Horse, with a team and family spirit that could not be dimmed.

The drivers took to the track for the first time on the Thursday, with Friday and Saturday hosting the final races of the Ferrari Challenge series for Europe and North America. Intense, thrilling action delivered highly competitive racing as the drivers and their 488 Challenge Evo race cars battled on the superb Misano circuit. At the end of the competition, the 2020 series winners were crowned:

Ferrari Challenge Europe
Trofeo Pirelli – Emanuele-Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa)
Trofeo Pirelli AM – Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing) 
Coppa Shell – Roger Grouwels (Race Art - Kroymans) 
Coppa Shell AM – "Alex Fox" (SF Grand Est Mulhouse)

Ferrari Challenge North America
Trofeo Pirelli – Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari of Westlake)
Trofeo Pirelli AM – Dave Musial (Ferrari Lake Forest)
Coppa Shell – Bradley Horstmann (Foreign Cars Italia)
Coppa Shell AM – Justin Wetherill (Ferrari of Central Florida)

The cars of the F1 Clienti and XX Programme, the two most exclusive Prancing Horse programmes, also starred over the weekend. Cars in action on the circuit included an F2007 and an F2008 that were raced by Kimi Räikkönen and brought two Formula 1 Constructors’ titles to Maranello. A selection of XX cars also took to the track, delighting their owners on the circuit in Romagna.

In a break from the track action, on the Saturday evening an awards ceremony was held for the Prancing Horse’s 2020 GT title-winning drivers. The event was a special physical-virtual hybrid, with official Competizioni GT drivers present and joined online by the champions from the European, North American and English versions of the Ferrari Challenge.

The ceremony, attended by Enrico Galliera, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, and Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, began by honouring the champions from the national series. Thereafter, awards were handed to international series champions. Particular applause went to Emmanuel Collard, Nicklas Nielsen and François Perrodo, winners of the FIA Endurance Trophy, along with AF Corse, thanks to their highly satisfying success-filled season. An ovation also went to Alessandro Pier Guidi who, for the first time in Prancing Horse history, clinched the title in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup.

On the final day of competition, the one-make Ferrari Challenge series hosted a direct confrontation between the drivers of the European and North American championships. In the Finale Mondiale Trofeo Pirelli, Florian Merckx (Baron Motorsport) and Han Sikkens (HR Owen) were the Trofeo Pirelli and Pirelli AM 2020 world champions respectively. In the Finale Mondiale Coppa Shell, Roger Grouwels (Race Art - Kroymans) and Michael Simoncic (Baron Motorsport) were the new 2020 Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell AM world champions.

The Finali Mondiali finished with the Ferrari Show, the customary concluding showpiece. It opened with several laps from 488 GTE and the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 cars, which raced this year in the FIA WEC and GT World Challenge Europe series, as well as the #51 and #52 488 GTEs set to compete in the world championship in 2021. Four Formula 1 single-seaters were in action too, and the new 488 GT Modificata made a special entrance onto the track as well.

With the 2020 Finali Mondiali belatedly complete, racing activities for the Ferrari Attività Sportive GT department will resume once again in just a few weeks’ time. The opening round of the Ferrari Challenge North America, together with the start of the 2021 Club Competizioni GT season, is scheduled for 26-28 March at the Virginia International Raceway.