The Finali Mondiali Ferrari concluded at a packed Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in an edition that saw a record 105 entries in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, in addition to another hundred cars from Club Competizioni GT, F1 Clienti and the XX Programme. Sunday’s races decided the 2023 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli world champions, with Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) taking the Trofeo Pirelli and Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing) the Trofeo Pirelli Am. Alex Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) claimed the Coppa Shell world title, while Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport) won the Coppa Shell Am race.
Much to the public’s delight, the traditional and eagerly awaited Ferrari Show featured several Formula 1 single-seaters from the recent past, the 499Ps from the FIA World Endurance Championship season, the display of the Trophy won in the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 296 GT3, winner of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The Scarperia circuit hosted the unveiling of the Maranello manufacturer’s two new cars, which were officially presented during Saturday’s gala evening: the 499P Modificata, a limited series sports prototype for non-competitive use, and the 296 Challenge, which will make its racing debut in the 2024 season of the Prancing Horse one-make series.
Finale Mondiale Trofeo Pirelli. Thomas Fleming took the 2023 Finali Mondiali title in the Trofeo Pirelli after a race he led from pole. He also turned in the best lap time of 1’51”136. In a race featuring a red flag and the entry of the Safety Car to clear the track after some collisions without consequences for the drivers, the young Briton beat the European series champion, Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili), while third place went to former Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil (Gohm – Baron Motorsport).
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Franz Engstler completed an extraordinary double win, securing the world title after the European championship and thus repeating his feat in last year’s Coppa Shell. The runner-up spot went to Canadian Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario), star of the North American series, while Nobuhiro Imada (Rosso Scuderia), of the Japanese championship, came third.
Finale Mondiale Coppa Shell. The winner of the 2023 Coppa Shell Europe series, Axel Sartingen, also claimed the world title after a gripping race, which ended under a Safety Car that entered to clear the track after Christian Kinch (Gohm – Herter Racing) came off without consequence. Poleman Ernst Kirchmayr (Gohm – Baron Motorsport) received a five-second penalty for repeatedly exceeding the track limits. Kirchmayr was first over the finish line after also recording the fastest lap of 1’54”206, but was relegated to sixth place. American David Voronin (Foreign Cars Italia), in second, and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), third, joined Sartingen on the podium.
Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport) is the Coppa Shell Am world champion. Starting from pole position, he held the lead down to the finish line and turned in the best lap time. There was a tight contest behind him in a race featuring a double entry of the Safety Car that compacted the group down to the last lap. Stefano Marazzi (Rossocorsa) eventually sealed the runner-up spot, ahead of Paolo Scudieri (Sa.Mo.Car.), at the end of a race with 116 overtaking moves
Ferrari Show. As the racing ended, the Mugello spectators were treated to the Ferrari Show, which, by way of tradition, brings down the curtain on the Finali Mondiali. Opening the parade were the 296 GTBs of the Corso Pilota, which then made way for the Maranello manufacturer’s two latest innovations: the 499P Modificata, driven by Olivier Beretta, and the 296 Challenge, with Andrea Bertolini at the wheel. Accompanying them on the track were three Formula 1 single-seaters: an F60 and two SF70-H and SF70-H models driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Antonio Fuoco and Antonio Giovinazzi, respectively. Drivers Alessio Rovera, Davide Rigon and Lilou Wadoux, meanwhile, were tasked with performing a few laps on the Tuscan track aboard the 296 GT3 and the 488 GTE.
The Mugello circuit was also the showcase for the two 499P protagonists of the FIA World Endurance Championship, complete with a driver change and pit stop refuelling simulation carried out by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 51 and by Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina in the No. 50.
A fly-over by a helicopter of the Tuscania Carabinieri paratroopers honoured the final line-up of cars on the main straight behind the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary Trophy. The uniformed servicemen descended, and the Italian Tricolour flag was unfurled, after which soprano Maria Claudia Donato thrilled the audience with her rendition of the national anthem.
Awards. The gala evening took place on Saturday in a setting graced by the display of some of the Maranello manufacturer’s iconic road and racing cars. The event also featured the public unveiling of two cars: the 296 Challenge, the ninth model in Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli history, which will debut in the 2024 season, starting with the Europe and North America series, and the 499P Modificata, a strictly limited series track car for gentlemen drivers for non-competitive use and derived from the Hypercar that triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the FIA World Endurance Championship. As a tribute to this historic triumph, Centenary Trophy awarded to the winning manufacturer at the Circuit de la Sarthe last June also appeared on the stage, in the presence of Benedetto Vigna, Ferrari Chief Executive Officer, Enrico Galliera, Ferrari Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Antonello Coletta, Ferrari Global Head Endurance and Corse Clienti, Ferdinando Cannizzo, Ferrari Head of Endurance Race Cars, and Amato Ferrari, AF Corse Founder, and the drivers who played a prominent role in the world championship season.
The winners of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe, North America, Japan, and UK series also received their awards during the evening, which included the announcement of the venue for the 2024 Finali Mondiali, which will take place from 16 to 20 October at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.