Lucky Khera (Graypaul Birmingham) made a strong start to the 2022 season, taking first place with a clear 2.8 second lead in the Ferrari Challenge UK Trofeo Pirelli. Qualifying in first place with a fastest lap of 1:39.508 – the only driver to achieve a sub-1:40 laptime – Khera drove a clean race and did not put a wheel wrong, commanding the field from flag-to-flag to finish on the first step of the podium.
In the Coppa Shell class, newcomer John Seale (Carrs Ferrari) wasn’t so lucky. Having qualified in first place in his Ferrari Challenge UK debut, Seale led the pack for the first half of the race before a collision forced him to retire early.
Trofeo Pirelli. Behind race leader Khera, Paul Hogarth (Stratstone Manchester), Graham De Zille (Meridien Modena) and Faisal Al-Faisal (HR Owen London) provided plenty of entertainment, with the three drivers battling bumper-to-bumper for podium places.
Qualifying in third place, Hogarth made a fantastic start to take second place from De Zille on the very first turn, coming out of Old Hall Corner on Khera’s rear. Although De Zille kept the pressure on Hogarth throughout the race, he couldn’t regain his starting position.
Al-Faisal was on the offensive throughout the race, pushing De Zille’s car 19 to the very end. Oulton Park’s mix of fast and slow corners had the pair trading places throughout the last lap, but ultimately De Zille held on – just – to take third place. It was a deserving place on the podium for De Zille in the Trofeo Pirelli class after being promoted following his win of the Coppa Shell championship in 2021.
Coppa Shell. It was a race of two halves in the Coppa Shell series. Seale was the first of a tight three-car pack, with Paul Simmerson (Graypaul Birmingham) and Paul Rogers (JCT600 Brooklands) close behind. Simmerson saw an opportunity to take first from the newcomer at the mid-way point; however, the two came together, ultimately leading to Seale’s retirement soon after.
This promoted Simmerson to first place in the race with rival Rogers closing the gap to give fans – which included, for the first time for the UK series, an online audience via a live stream on YouTube and the Ferrari Races website – an awesome spectacle. Simmerson beat Rogers by one point in the 2021 series, and on the basis of their battle in the first race of the season, the two are clearly going to go head-to-head throughout the year.
Ultimately, a penalty for the collision with Seale would move Simmerson down the pack, promoting Rogers to first place – his first race win in the Ferrari Challenge UK. Newcomer Ambrose took second place ahead of Jonathan Satchell (HR Owen London), giving Ambrose a podium finish on his debut race.