A thrill-packed show both on track and off at the Finali Mondiali 2022 in Imola which saw 38,000 spectators in the paddock and grandstands during the event. Sunday’s racing decreed the 2022 World Champions of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, with triumphs for Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi - Courage) in the Trofeo Pirelli and Franz Engstler (Scuderia GT) in the Coppa Shell.
All eyes were on the heart-stopping traditional Ferrari Show which, as well as the exhibition by various Formula 1 single-seaters from the recent past, were able to witness the debut of the two latest Maranello models: the 499P, officially unveiled at Saturday’s gala evening, with which Ferrari, fifty years after the last participation, will tackle the prestigious FIA WEC series in 2023, and the 296 GT3, destined to take the reins from the multi-race winner, the Ferrari 488 GT3.
Finali Mondiali Trofeo Pirelli. At the end of a gripping race, with six drivers taking the fight down to the wire, it was Thomas Neubauer first past the finish line, winning the race that will see him crowned 2022 World Champion. Starting from pole position, the young Frenchman, after a Safety Car entrance to clean up the track following some mid-pack collisions - without any consequences for the drivers involved - managed to fend off the attacks from Eliseo Donno (CDP - Best Lap). The Italian driver’s exit from the scene, forced to withdraw minutes from the end, gave John Wartique (FML - D2P) the all-clear, who, nevertheless, had to eventually settle for second place, ahead of the champion of the Trofeo Pirelli Europe, Doriane Pin (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx), third. Just off the podium was the 2021 champion, Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing), who was able to take advantage of a slip-up in the finale by former Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil (Gohm Motorsport), fifth.
Nestled in the group of cars in the main class, Marco Pulcini (Al Tayer Motors) turned his pole position into a triumph that saw him crowned Am class world champion. Prematurely out of contention were two of the most accredited contenders, the recently-crowned European champion Ange Barde (SF Côte d'Azur Cannes - IB Fast) and Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing). The Italian driver, who also produced the fastest lap time of 1'45"236, finished on the podium ahead of Nigel Schoonderwoerd (Scuderia FMA - Iron Lynx), second, and Christian Brunsborg (Formula Racing), winner in 2021, third.
Finali Mondiali Coppa Shell. After winning the European series, Franz Engstler also snatched the world title, thanks to a race that saw him in clean air throughout. Starting from the first position on the grid, the Scuderia GT flagbearer gradually gained the advantage over his season-long rival, Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo - Herter Racing), runner-up at the end, and over Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport), third, crossing the finish line alone, with the fastest lap of 1'44"979.
Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) is the new Am class world champion, at the end of a hard fought, gripping battle with Peter Christensen (Formula Racing), reigning champion, and Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm Motorsport - Herter Racing), winner of the 2021 European series. The Swedish driver, who started from pole position, managed to effectively fend off any overtaking attempts from his most immediate pursuers, taking the chequered flag with the best lap time of 1'45"392.