With a packed grid of 60+ Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars, Saturday’s racing action promised to delight the thousands of fans who descended on the Watkins Glen circuit, and it did not disappoint. Under sweltering conditions, drivers worked to tackle the challenges of the 3.45 mile circuit and avoid the ever present blue barriers.
Trofeo Pirelli. Keysin Chen (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) took a dominant win in a Trofeo Pirelli race that ultimately finished under yellow flag conditions. After qualifying on pole, Chen leapt away from Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) and set about building a gap over the rest of the category. While it was smooth sailing up front, behind saw an uncommon amount of drama. Championship leader heading into the weekend Manny Franco (Ferrari of Lake Forest) was pushing hard from third to keep up with Chen’s pace, but ultimately spun and tumbled down the order. Clarke, who was also enjoying a strong race in second before encountering an issue with only minutes to go and was forced to pull off and retire. That left the door open for Joe Rubbo (Ferrari of Long Island) and Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari of Westlake) to be promoted to the final podium positions. But a race that was full of twists and turns was brought to an abrupt halt by the most dramatic of the weekend so far as Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari), after spending much of the race working to defend his position, encountered an issue in the high-speed esses section of the circuit and slammed into the wall before coming to a halt some further distance down the circuit. Race control took the decision from there to end the race a couple of minutes early behind the safety car. In the Trofeo Pirelli AM category, Aaron Weiss (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) took his first win of the 2022 season after a time penalty for Custodio Toledo (The Collection) for a jumped start demoted him from the lead to 6th in the category. Benoit Bergeron (Ferrari of Quebec) and John Horejsi rounded out the podium in second and third respectively.
Coppa Shell. In another race interrupted and ultimately concluded under the leadership of the safety car, the Coppa Shell race saw a tremendous 32-car field take the green flag. 30 minutes later, Brian Kaminskey (Ferrari of Long Island) had done himself wonders in his championship fight with another win in the category. It did not come easy, however, as he spent the latter portion of the race hounded by Frank Chang (Ferrari of Seattle) who worked to induce an error in Kaminskey’s driving, to no avail. Despite the high-speed nature of the Watkins Glen circuit, Kaminskey was able to defend from the two most obvious passing opportunities throughout. Michael Petramalo (Ferrari of Seattle) rounded out the podium in third. In the Coppa Shell AM category, Tony Davis (Continental Autosports) took the win as he managed a packed crowd of Challenge cars to avoid any incident with cars in the Coppa Shell class and defend from the closely following Todd Johnson (Ferrari of Rancho Mirage) who ultimately went on to finish second. Third place was taken by Richard Pineda (Ferrari of Washington).
Schedule. Sunday’s Ferrari Challenge action will begin at 10:40 a.m. (all times Eastern) with qualifying for the Coppa Shell AM category, and continuing with the remaining categories to 11:55 a.m. The final races of the weekend will begin at 1:40 p.m. with recon laps and a green flag time scheduled for 1:55 p.m. All sessions will be available online at live.ferrari.com.