11 aprile 2016
Sonoma, 10 April 2016 - The curtain closed today at Sonoma Raceway as 34 drivers from the North American Ferrari Challenge crossed the finish line for the second round of racing in California's Wine Country. The qualifying session scheduled in the late morning was cancelled due to some rainfall, therefore the starting grid was based on yesterday's race results. However, the sun peeked through the clouds when the drivers were asked to start their engines.
Trofeo Pirelli. Beginning the race at the top of the field was Saturday's winner, Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari Quebec). An exciting start with the wave of the green flag brought the Tifosi in attendance to their feet. With side-by-side action into turn 1, Carlos Kauffmann (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) nearly brushed the rear of Gregory Romanelli (The Collection) who started the race in second position. And although Anassis had an excellent run during the 35-minute race, Romanelli found an opportune moment at the restart to overtake the Canadian on the underside of the entry turn. Not only did the two battle it out, but Kauffmann had a run on everyone's tail, clocking the fastest time on track with 1:42:407. Romanelli finished in first place, with Anassis and Kauffmann in second and third place.
Pirelli AM. Equally as enticing was the competition found with the Trofeo Pirelli AM drivers. Steve Johnson (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale), who has found himself in a clean podium sweep since the start of the season, had to fight to maintain his swift stance on the 2.52-mile circuit. The track conditions were increasingly amiable to the 458 Challenge EVOs from the early morning rain. As the concrete dried, the drivers were faster and more aggressive in their strategies. Patrice Brisebois (Ferrari Quebec) had an excellent approach, leading him to the ultimate victory in his class. It was also his first time standing on top of the podium steps this season. Arthur Romanelli (The Collection) finished in second place and Johnson in third.
Coppa Shell. Although the Coppa Shell class saw some turmoil in today's race, Joe Courtney (Miller Motor Cars), Chris Cagnazzi (Ferrari of Long Island) and Rob Hodes (Ferrari of Newport Beach) would find themselves again in first, second and third place respectively. Matt Keegan (Ferrari of San Francisco) suffered a 35-second timed penalty for responsibility in an incident. But the anticipation only grew when the yellow flag was dropped for the second half of the race. Courtney and Cagnazzi continued to show their worth, especially at the Bus Stop for precise overtaking actions. The excitement of the 2016 Ferrari Challenge North America season will continue with Round 3 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, May 13-15.