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    Donno wins 2023 Trofeo Pirelli Europe at Mugello. Rothberg, Root and Clark claim North American titles

    Mugello 26 ottobre 2023

    The first day of racing at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, which hosts the Ferrari Finali Mondiali until Sunday, saw the award of the main title of the 2023 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe and the remaining three in the North American series. 

    Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili) secured the Trofeo Pirelli Europe at the end of a spectacular race that hung in the balance down to the finish line, with the man from Salento coming second behind Adrian Sutil (Gohm – Baron Motorsport). Japanese driver Yudai Uchida (Rosso Scuderia) won in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Ernst Kirchmayr (Gohm - Baron Motorsport) in the Coppa Shell and Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport) in the Coppa Shell Am, with tomorrow’s final round the title decider.

    In the Ferrari Challenge North America, where the former Trofeo Pirelli champion Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari Beverly Hills) claimed another victory, Race-1 in Tuscany also crowned Justin Rothberg (Ferrari of Palm Beach) Trofeo Pirelli Am champion, after he finished fourth today in a race won by Brian Cook (Ferrari of Seattle). Cameron Root (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) took first place and the Coppa Shell championship, while victory in the Coppa Shell Am went to Lance Cawley (Ferrari of Atlanta) on the day that Lisa Clark (Ferrari Beverly Hills) sealed the title.

    Ferrari Challenge Europe. The season’s penultimate round ended the long and exciting duel between Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) and Eliseo Donno. With today’s second place, the young Italian took the decisive points to become European Trofeo Pirelli champion. The decisive moment came in the closing stages of the race, held on rain-soaked tarmac when Adrian Sutil passed Fleming, the race leader and polesitter at the restart after a Safety Car phase and crossed the finish line in first place. The British driver, who posted the fastest lap of 2’11”549, also relinquished second place, overtaken by Donno, who thus celebrated the 2023 title.

    The Trofeo Pirelli Am race was also intense, with Yudai Uchida, the star of the Japanese branch of the Prancing Horse one-make series, taking the lead in the early stages, overtaking polesitter Mohamed Hamdy (Ezz Elarab Automotive Company) and finishing first with the bonus point for the best time. Behind Hendrik Viol (Scuderia Praha), who recovered five positions from the starting grid, Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing) took the third step of the podium in a race featuring 107 overtaking moves.

    Starting from pole position, with the best qualifying time of 2’15”339, Ernst Kirchmayr held the lead throughout a Coppa Shell race complicated by poor weather and a tarmac wetted by light rain. He took his third win of the season, following a one-two at his home circuit of Spielberg. A tight challenge behind him involved Christian Herdt-Wipper (Emil Frey Sportivo), eventually runner-up, and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), who got the better of John Dhillon (Graypaul Nottingham) over the final corners of the last lap to take third place along with the extra point for the fastest lap in a race featuring 87 overtaking moves.

    The Coppa Shell Am season finale is heating up, with the title contest between Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Motors Shiba) and Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing), now with just nine points between them, postponed until tomorrow’s final race. Indeed, the Singaporean driver passed the leader in the standings right at the end, taking second place under the chequered flag. With the additional point for the best lap time, he narrowed the gap to the Japanese, third today. The returning Martinus Richter claimed his fourth win of the season, taking the lead from poleman Stefano Marazzi (Rossocorsa) in the tricky early stages of the race, which also saw the entry of the Safety Car following an exit for driver Tommy Lindroth (Gohm - Baron Motorsport), from which he escaped unscathed.   

    Ferrari Challenge North America. The first of two races at Mugello, which closed the 2023 Ferrari Challenge North America season, awarded the remaining three titles still up for grabs. 

    In the Trofeo Pirelli, Matt Kurzejewski celebrated the title he had already mathematically clinched at the Road America round with another pole position and victory after successfully fending off Roberto Perrina's (Ferrari of Seattle) overtaking attempts to the finish line. Third place went to Dylan Medler (The Collection). The season champion also set the best lap time. 

    With a solid lead over his closest pursuers in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Justin Rothberg (Ferrari of Palm Beach) only needed a fourth place today to seal the title. Brian Cook, who started from pole position and set the best lap time, climbed the top step of the podium in Tuscany. The Australian finished ahead of Omar Balkissoon (Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale) and Tony Davis (Continental of AutoSports). 

    In the Coppa Shell, Cameron Root celebrated his championship victory with a third consecutive win, ahead of season-long rivals David Voronin (Foreign Cars Italia), second, and Sureel Choksi (Ferrari of Denver), third. Setting off from top spot on the grid, Root also picked up the extra point for the fastest lap in a rain-affected race.

    Lisa Clark won the Coppa Shell Am with third place, achieved after a 25-second penalty imposed for a collision during the race on polesitter Bruce Cleveland (Ferrari Silicon Valley), who was first over the line. The class win went to Lance Cawley (Ferrari of Atlanta), while Roger Monteforte (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) took second place. Jeffrey Nunberg (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) finished fourth, scoring the extra point for the best time.

    Schedule. The last races of the European and North American series will run on Friday, 27 October, at the Mugello circuit, ahead of the Finali Mondiali with qualifying and Superpole on Saturday and the races on Sunday. The last act of the Trofeo Pirelli Europe will kick off tomorrow at 9 a.m., with the green flag for the Coppa Shell Europe at 1 p.m. The cars will rev up for the Ferrari Challenge North America at 5 p.m. All times are local.