Monza once again confirmed itself as the temple of speed, providing two thrill-packed qualifying sessions thanks to performances by Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars, as the opening round of the Ferrari Challenge season got underway.
With an extraordinary time of 1:48.644, Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) grabbed the limelight on his Ferrari Challenge debut by securing pole position. The 16-year-old Finn – the youngest driver in the history of the series – notched up a sequence of fast laps in the early stages of qualifying, ahead of an excellent Matùš Vyboh (Scuderia Praha), promoted to ‘pro’ class on the eve of the free practice session, and the ever competitive Michelle Gatting (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx). Fourth place on the grid went to John Wartique (Francorchamps Motors Luxembourg) ahead of Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing), winner of AM class in 2020.
In the very same class, veteran Ange Barde (Sf Grand Est & Côte d'Azur) snatched the top spot, on his return to the Challenge, taking sixth place on the overall starting grid. Behind the French driver, the starting order will consist of Christian Brunsborg (Formula Racing), Hugo Delacour (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) and Italian driver Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa). The remaining competitors, just milliseconds apart, followed closely behind, which is likely to ensure a highly competitive and entertaining race.
There were thrills and spills, as usual, in Coppa Shell, with the 20 drivers on track crammed into a margin of less than 3 seconds. Taking the spoils, with a decisive strike some two minutes from the end of the session, was Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo), just 66 milliseconds ahead of the great protagonist from the 2020 season, Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport), who will take the start-line with title ambitions. An excellent Claudio Schiavoni (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx) will start from third position, while fourth will be James Weiland (Rossocorsa). In AM class, pole position went to the Swedish driver Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) in the 488 Challenge Evo, fifth overall, preceding two highly experienced drivers Michael Simoncic (Baron Motorsport) and Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing).