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Merckx, Sikkens, Grouwels and Simoncic 2020 Ferrari Challenge World Champions

Misano 07 March 2021

Florian Merckx (Baron Motorsport) and Roger Grouwels (Race Art – Kroymans) have been crowned world champions in their respective classes of Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell at the Finali Mondiali Ferrari held at Misano Adriatico. The final day of the event, as is traditional, also hosted a spectacular show involving XX Programme, F1 Clienti, Club Competizioni GT, with the Ferrari Show bringing the occasion to a close. 

Finale Mondiale Trofeo Pirelli. The World Champions of the Trofeo Pirelli and Pirelli AM 2020 are Florian Merckx and Han Sikkens (HR Owen) respectively. 30 minutes of racing were not enough to decree the winner of the elite class: after scrutineering race stewards decided to disqualify the car belonging to Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi - Courage) for technical irregularities, in spite of the car having commanded throughout the race. Following the disqualification of the Frenchman, the title was awarded to Merckx, second past the chequered flag, while Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) and Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari of Westlake) occupied the remaining two steps on the podium. Neubauer's appeal makes the ranking sub judice pending the result of the appeal. In AM class, after a complicated start, pole-sitter Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing) was forced to retire as was Matús Vyboh (Scuderia Praha), who had looked like a contender on the eve of the race. Likewise, Christian Brunsborg (Formula Racing) was sanctioned with a drive-through, effectively ruling out any title aspirations despite the fastest lap of the category. After a long series of overtaking and counter-manoeuvres Sikkens took a decisive lead and went on to become the champion; behind him was Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa), while John Dhillon (Graypaul Nottingham) finished third. 

Finale Mondiale Coppa Shell. Roger Grouwels and Michael Simoncic (Baron Motorsport) are the new 2020 Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell AM World Champions. The race got underway with a fierce tussle between Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) and Grouwels, who managed to pull off a perfect overtaking manoeuvre at turn 8 to slip past his rival. In AM class, a troubled start from “Boris Gideon” (Formula Racing), saw him drop down the class order to third place behind Simoncic and “Alex Fox” (SF Grand Est Mulhouse). The leading three then began to edge away: Grouwels set a fine pace and went on to clinch both the victory and a fastest lap of 1:37.135 ahead of Kirchmayr and Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo). Meanwhile, among the AM class competitors, Simoncic took the top honours ahead of "Alex Fox" and Miroslav Výboh (Scuderia Praha), who produced an astonishing overtaking move on the final lap to outstrip Willem Van Der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) hampered by damage to the car due to an earlier collision. 

Ferrari Show. As per tradition, the final show of the event took place this afternoon, an adrenaline-pumping show which was attended by the new 488 GTE adorned with 2021 livery, four Formula 1 single-seaters and the brand new 488 GT Modificata - the car free from homologation restrictions designed specifically for Club Competizioni GT, which incorporates some of the high performance features from other closed-wheeled Ferraris. 

2021 Season. Professional racing activities for the Ferrari Attività Sportive GT department will resume in a few weeks' time, with the opening round of Ferrari Challenge North America scheduled for the weekend 26-28 March at the Virginia International Raceway.