Race 2 of the opening weekend of the 2022 Ferrari Challenge UK kept fans on the edge of their seats, both online and in-person at Oulton Park. Lucky Khera (Graypaul Birmingham) set the pace throughout, taking his second victory of the weekend in Trofeo Pirelli, and Paul Simmerson (Graypaul Birmingham) earning his first victory of the Coppa Shell season.
Trofeo Pirelli. The opening lap of Race 2 was the only time of the weekend that Khera was not at the front of the pack, losing the lead to H. Sikkens (HR Owen London). However, Khera quickly recovered to regain the lead within a few corners and build an impressive 4 second advantage before the race was stopped due to a collision between two Coppa Shell drivers.
The race restarted as a short 10-minute sprint to the finish, with Khera holding off Sikkens throughout. Despite the first-to-the-finish dash, Khera didn’t put a wheel wrong for the entire weekend, his dominance lasting to the line; Sikkens finished just 0.512 seconds behind him, with Paul Hogarth (Stratstone Manchester) completing the podium.
Coppa Shell. The weekend’s drama came courtesy of newcomer John Seale (Carrs Ferrari) and Simmerson. Both lost out on podium finishes in Race 1 when they came together in Lodge Corner; damage forcing Seale to retire early and a penalty demoting Simmerson.
In Race 2, and with Paul Rogers (JCT600 Brooklands) a clear 8.5 seconds ahead, Simmerson was under pressure from Seale, with a gap of just 0.3 seconds between the two. Seale finally made his move for second place on the very corner that had cost the pair dearly in Race 1, with the two coming out of Lodge Corner side-by-side. Climbing into Deer Leap on the main straight, the narrow track left little room for both drivers. Wheel-to-wheel, Seale moved across into Simmerson, locking the cars together and leaving Simmerson battling to keep all four wheels on the track. Seale’s car hopped, lost traction and forced the pair to swerve right, across the track. Seale collided with the barrier head on, his Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo getting fully airborne, skating along the pit-entrance barrier. Astonishingly, Simmerson avoided the barrier, skidding to stop facing out of the pit entrance seemingly undamaged. Fortunately, both drivers were un-hurt in the incident.
The race was red-flagged and stopped for recovery and barrier repair, restarting 45 minutes later as a short 10-minute sprint to the end.
Before the restart, Rogers had a 8.5 second advantage but squandered this when Simmerson squeezed passed to take first place. Simmerson remained in first place in class for the remainder of the race, holding back Rogers who was left fighting with Ambrose for podium positions. Ultimately, Simmerson, Rogers and Ambrose would cross the line with less than a second separating the trio.
Schedule. The 2022 Ferrari Challenge UK continues its 2022 season later this month at Snetterton, on May 28-29.