04 novembre 2016
Homestead, 4 November 2016 - The grand finale of the Ferrari Challenge North America gets underway this weekend with the sixth round of the world's most famous one-make series as part of the Ferrari Racing Days at Homestead. It takes place less than a month from the final act of the season, the Finali Mondiali in Daytona from 1 to 4 December. The rankings are all very open but Homestead could prove to be a springboard to the title.
Trofeo Pirelli. Carlos Kauffmann tops the standings in the Trofeo Pirelli with the Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale team. After winning five podiums in the first eight races of the season, he launched an assault on top spot at Lime Rock with two victories that took him above Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari Quebec). The fight for the title is now between these two drivers after Gregory Romanelli, third in the standings, pulled out injured. The Italian-American who races for The Collection team, won't be there but his car will be driven by Daniel Mancinelli, who Romanelli partnered in the Italian GT Championship in a 488 GT3 for Easy Race team. Besides Mancinelli, there is also Wei Lu, fourth in the standings, and the two Scuderia Corsa drivers, Cooper MacNeil and especially Martin Fuentes, the Mexican phenomenon fresh from victory in the GTA class of the Pirelli World Challenge.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. The battle in the Am class of the Trofeo Pirelli is wide open. Four title contenders will be on the track at Homestead. James Weiland (Boardwalk Ferrari) and Steve Johnson (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) have a 138-point lead at the top of the standings. Weiland, also competing in the Challenge Europe and the Asia-Pacific, boasts four victories (the two races at COTA and Montreal) against the three for Johnson but, besides Race-1 in Sonoma, his two wins came in the first round of the season at Daytona, where he will return in December. If Johnson doesn't cede too many points to Weiland at Homestead he could arrive at the Finali Mondiali in a position to turn things around. There are two other awkward customers: Arthur Romanelli (The Collection), fresh from victory in Race-1 at Lime Rock, on 109 points, and Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) whose win in Race-2 at Lime Rock has put him on 105 points.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell also sees a two-man fight for the title, although in this case there is a favourite: Joe Courtney, who has won six races out of 10 at the wheel of the 458 Challenge EVO of Mille Motor Cars. The US driver will have to guard against the attacks of Chris Cagnazzi (Ferrari of Long Island) whose strongpoint is consistency and who is still battling for the title. Also in with a shout is defending champion Jean-Claude Saada (Boardwalk Ferrari), as well as Matt Keegan (Ferrari of San Francisco) and Rick Lovat (Ferrari of Ontario), with two wins each so far.
Programme. Four races are scheduled for the weekend for the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell. After testing on Friday, qualifying for the Trofeo Pirelli is at 11:25 am local time (4:25 pm) with Race-1 at 3pm (8 pm CET), while Coppa Shell qualifying is at 11:50 am (4:50 pm CET) and Race-1 at 4 pm (9 pm CET). On Sunday qualifying is at 10.50 am and 11:15 am (4:50 pm and 5:15 pm CET) with Race-2 of the Coppa Shell at 2 pm (8 pm CET) and the Trofeo Pirelli at 3 pm (9 pm CET).