Weather affected Race 2 of the opening weekend of the Ferrari Challenge APAC series at Suzuka when a sudden downpour occurred just before the race started, which turned it on its head as teams worked to change tires on their cars from Pirelli slicks to rains to accommodate for the changing conditions. The race was delayed by almost an hour and started behind the Safety-Car from the pit when the rain stopped. Track conditions kept everyone on the edge of their seats as the track was soaked.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Yudai Uchida of Rosso Scuderia repeated his pole position in Race 2 and was once again in perfect form during the race to continue his winning streak. He made advantage of the grip granted by rain tyres to take the lead at the start but was challenged by stable mate Nobuhiro Imada who proved to be capable of a very good pace in treacherous track conditions, keeping the gap under 1 second for the first half of the race. As the laps progressed, however, the track got drier and Uchida’s pace advantage returned. In the end, he managed to extend his lead and won the race with a gap of more than 6 seconds to Imada, who came in second.
Coppa Shell. Pole winner Motohiro Kotani (Cornes Osaka) reigned supreme, taking the lead and then building a gap that would last to the end, winning the race in his class after fending-off repeated attacks from stable mate Kanji Yagura. In the midst of a heated battle during lap 7, Yagura spun while trying to overtake Kotani with a very deep lunge on the outside of turn 1. In the end, Yagura rejoined the race behind stable mate Kazuyuki Yamaguchi, who came in second.Another battle was also taking place behind this trio between AKITA (Cornes Nagoya) and Kuninari Mori (Auto Speciale). On lap 9 at the hairpin, Mori left just enough space for AKITA to do a late brake and got into the space between him and the corner apex. They made slight contact but AKITA managed to pass Mori, which was made more challenging on a wet surface, thus making this the move of the day. AKITA took the last step on the Coppa Shell podium.
Coppa Shell Am. Yagura was once again the clear victor in the Coppa Shell Am class. He came out on top with his second win of the 2022 season to date after showing the same pace of the Coppa Shell drivers. Stable mate Atsushi Iritani continued his strong form at Suzuka with a second place finish and Shigeru Kamiue of European Versionrounded out the top three.
Trofeo Pirelli standings. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Uchida’s double triumph gives him the lead with 35 points, in front of Imada with 25 points.
Coppa Shell standings. In the Coppa Shell, Yamaguchi leads the standings with 28 points, following his win in Race 1 and third place in Race 2. Only one point separates AKITA and Kotani, heralding an exciting battle ahead for the season. AKITA is second with 24 points while Race 2 winner Kotani is in third place with 23 points. In the Coppa Shell Am, Yagura is in the lead with victories in both races, with 35 points, while Iritani is second with 25 points and in third place, Kunihiro with 19 points.
Next Race. The second round of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific takes place in Fuji Speedway International Circuit from 22nd to 24th July, 2022.