Glorious weather and intense racing action marked Day 2 of Ferrari Racing Days at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. Drivers took advantage of the prior three days of familiarity with the undulating and historic circuit to improve their lap times and increase their risk taking – safe in the knowledge that their 488 Challenge race cars will not be pressed into service again for some weeks. The additional contact was largely cosmetic, however, as drivers enjoyed hard but fair racing around the 2.238 mile, 11 turn circuit.
Trofeo Pirelli. Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale) took a break-out win in race 2, scything past Benjamin Hites (The Collection) at the start and holding the position through Turn 2. Further back, a mad-cap turn 2 saw lots of close calls but only a little bit of rubbing as Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Westlake) tried to make up for a mechanically induced poor qualifying session. As the race began to string out, two battles developed, the first between Martin Burrowes and Benjamin Hites, and the second between Cooper MacNeil and whomever was in front of him. As Martin struggled with tire degradation, Benjamin was unable to make it past. Meanwhile, Cooper had passed Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario), Joe Rubbo (Ferrari of Long Island) and Thomas Tippl (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Beverly Hills) and was bearing down on the battle for the lead. After numerous laps of close action, Cooper and Hites made contact in the fast Turn 10 sweeper, spinning both. Hites was out of the race due to rear suspension damage, while Cooper was relegated to fourth. Joe Rubbo also passed Thomas Tippl in the ensuing maylay, and ultimately finished second to Tippl’s third.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Karl Williams (Boardwalk Ferrari) took a dominant win in Trofeo Pirelli Am after a spin cost him the win in yesterday’s race. He blitzed the field by 20 seconds and took fastest lap in his class, completing a perfect weekend. Neil Gehani (Continental Autosports) and Dave Musial (Ferrari of Lake Forest) however enjoyed a very tight battle for second, with the 488 Challenge car of Neil Gehani besting Dave by just over three tenths of a second.
Coppa Shell. A perfect weekend for Mark Issa (Ferrari of Atlanta) who again took pole position and fastest lap enroute to a six second margin of victory. The American driver beat out Claude Senhoreti (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale) and Dale Katechis (Miller Motorcars) in an action packed race. With 28 cars on the 2.238 mile circuit, there were bound to be a few close calls and contacts, and there certainly were on the opening lap and throughout the race. Ultimately, though, Issa proved to be in a class of his own and has put himself in excellent position as the Challenge season heads towards the mid-way point at Montreal. Oscar Paredes Arroyo (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) put himself in strong contention for the podium, but fell just short, in fourth. He did, however, take home the Gentleman’s Cup for his efforts.
Coppa Shell AM. Joe Sposato (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Beverly Hills) took his first win in Ferrari Challenge competition, separating himself from the rest of the Coppa Shell category by six seconds and taking fastest lap in the process. Joe and his nearest challenger, Rodolfo Lenci (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) were in a bit of a class of their own, having gapped the rest of the Coppa Shell Am field by over twenty seconds at the checkered flag. That pack was led by Lisa Clark (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who continued her impressive run of form with another podium finish and the Ladies Cup.
Schedule. Ferrari Challenge will return to the track in support of the Grand Prix du Canada on June 7.