The Ferrari Challenge paddock is set to begin its first North American weekend of 2023 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. With perfect Miami weather predicted, the paddocks are already full as drivers have completed their testing sessions before official practice sessions take place throughout Friday before qualifying and racing action on Saturday and Sunday. All qualifying and race sessions are also set to be streamed once more on live.ferrari.com.
Return to Miami. Located just one hour south of the famed beaches of Miami and Miami Beach, the Homestead-Miami circuit has been a stalwart of the Challenge schedule since 2011, hosting the championship eight times in that span. While the layout itself is almost entirely flat, typical for a Florida circuit, a technical mix of high speed and low speed corners await the Ferrari Challenge competitors. Traction especially will be at a premium as the longest straights on the layout are universally preceded by low-speed corners, making rear grip and traction the essential ingredients for success.
Drivers Ready for a new challenge. Fifty-four drivers are set to compete behind the wheel of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo in Miami, with many familiar names set to make their return to the championship and a healthy roster of new ones set to make their mark on what should be a highly competitive season. In Trofeo Pirelli, 2022 champion Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari of Westlake) is set for a more limited campaign in 2023, leaving that field wide open for a fresh face to take the top spot. 2022 runner-up Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) and Manny Franco (Ferrari of Lake Forest) should be favorites here after Franco lost out to McCarthy by just a single point despite missing two weekends in 2022, while McCarthy was just three points further back. But a number of new names, including 2022 Trofeo Pirelli AM champion Dave Musial Jr. (Ferrari of Lake Forest) have joined the ranks of the top class of Ferrari Challenge competition.
Meanwhile in the AM category, Musial Jr’s leap has again shuffled the deck a category known for not having a clear frontrunner. Most notable among them has to be Tony Davis (Continental Autosport) who makes the leap to the category after running away with the Coppa Shell AM championship in 2022. With five wins from fourteen races last season, Davis’ talent is undeniable, but he will be up against much stiffer competition than last year. Meanwhile, a few drivers including Dave Musial (Ferrari of Lake Forest) and Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) should prove to be fierce competitors after cutting their teeth in the Trofeo Pirelli category in 2022.
Coppa Shell has once again proven to be the largest category of the championship with 20 cars entered, including many long-time names, but none longer than Michael Louli (Ferrari of Ontario) whose days with the championship go back decades. Coppa Shell is also home to a number of fresh faces and so the first race will be a real test for who is up to speed and who still has some pace to find in their Ferraris. Coppa Shell AM meanwhile is the smallest group with just eight entries, though that will certainly change as the season progresses. Lisa Clark (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) should be the class favorite after a breakout 2022 season saw her take the podium five times and earn her first championship win at Imola. Dan Cornish (Ferrari of Austin), however, could be a stern challenge as his resolute consistency last year netted him third in the category, just behind Clark.
Schedule. Testing sessions will open the 2023 edition of the championship with cars on track throughout Wednesday and Thursday, before official practice sessions begin on Friday. Saturday’s action will see qualifying begin at 10:35 A.M. (all times Eastern), followed by pre-race festivities at 1:35 P.M. and races starting at 2:05 P.M. Sunday’s schedule mimics the format of Saturday with qualifying beginning at 10:05 A.M. and the first green flag scheduled to fall at 1:20 P.M.