Niccolò Schirò (Rossocorsa), with his third consecutive victory in the Trofeo Pirelli, and Christian Brunsborg (Formula Racing) in the Am, triumphed in the first race in Valencia, round four of the Ferrari Challenge Europe. Both classes saw plenty of overtaking and excitement, with the two polemen eventually claiming victory.
The opening race at the “Ricardo Tormo” track set off in the rain before a crowd that, since Brno, could watch from the stands. At the green light, Neubauer (Charles Pozzi - Courage) surprised his rivals by first passing Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) and then Schirò to snatch the lead. Michelle Gatting (Scuderia Niki – Iron Lynx, followed in third, passing the young Finnish driver, who also yielded to John Wartique (FML - D2P). In the Am class, Christian Brunsborg defended pole position ahead of Alessandro Cozzi (Formula Racing), who got off to an excellent start. Sergio Paulet (Santogal Madrid – MST Team) held third, followed by Marco Pulcini (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing), Hugo Delacour (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) and Oliver Plassmann (Ulrich Frankfurt).
However, as early as lap one, a tenacious Schirò reclaimed first place with a great pass on Neubauer, while Michelle Gatting stayed in the chase. In the Am, Cozzi lost control of his car and slipped to the back of the field while Ange Barde (SF Côte d’Azur Cannes) mounted a comeback with a series of passes, lap after lap. Brunsborg and Paulet fought an intense battle at the top of the class, with the latter taking advantage of Cozzi’s exit from the scene to launch an assault on the number one spot. Wanting to do well on his home track, the Spaniard completed his attack on lap six, taking the lead in the Am.
The battles continued for the rest of the thirty-minute outing, and while Schirò kept up his solo performance, the Am race was exciting. Brunsborg regained the lead on lap nine, overtaking Paulet, while a fierce fight raged behind them for third place, where Pulcini had to fend off an aggressive Ange Barde. Then, on lap 13, the Frenchman took advantage of Pulcini’s mistake to pass him and move into third place.
At the finish line, Schirò triumphed, recording his third consecutive win. He was followed by Neubauer ahead of Gatting. John Wartique finished just off the podium, ahead of the young Nurmi. A below par Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing) took sixth position, but could at least console himself with the fastest lap time. In the Am, victory went to Christian Brunsborg, who crossed the line ahead of Paulet after a long battle. Barde occupied the last step of the podium. Pulcini took fourth and Hugo Delacour fifth, holding off the returning Roger Grouwels (Kroymans - Race Art). Arno Dahlmeyer (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx) secured seventh.