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Nurmi becomes the youngest winner in Challenge history. Paulet first in AM class.

Monza 11 April 2021

A thrilling Trofeo Pirelli second round, full of twists and turns, brought maiden victories for rookies Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) - the youngest winner in Ferrari Challenge history - and Sergio Paulet (Santogal Madrid - MST Team) in AM class. Both winners set off from pole position on the wet Monza circuit, before rounding off a perfect day.

The race got off to a trouble-free start, with the Temple of Speed in Brianza slowly drying out after the heavy morning rain. Leader Nurmi kept the place at the head of the field, while John Wartique (Francorchamps Motors Luxembourg) managed to slip past a more cautious Michelle Gatting (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx).

In AM class, however, pole-sitter Paulet got involved in a collision with Matùš Výboh (Scuderia Praha) - who would eventually pick up a 5-second penalty - and conceded the leadership to an excellent Alessandro Cozzi (Formula Racing).

Five minutes into the competition came the first twist: after a collision between Ange Barde (Sf Grand Est & Côte d’Azur) and Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa), the race had to be suspended for various minutes while debris was removed. When racing resumed, with 20 minutes left on the clock, Nurmi managed to hang on to the lead, followed at a safe distance by Wartique, Gatting, Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing) and Výboh.

Meanwhile, in AM class, a real battle was heating up which ended with contact between the current leader Alessandro Cozzi and an unbridled Arno Dahlmeyer (Scuderia Niki - Iron Lynx), triggering another Safety Car entrance. The class battle restarted as soon as racing got underway again, with overtaking and counter-overtaking moves – some 74 in total by the end  – which turned out in Hugo Delacour’s (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) favour.

An unfettered Nurmi edged away at the head of the field, on course for the record-breaking win, and even managed to register a trio of fastest laps, while Michelle Gatting upped the pace in her usual manner, with a skilful manoeuvre at the second bend of Lesmo, to overtake Wartique and capture the second final place. Behind the Belgian, who climbed onto the third step of the podium, were Paulsen and Výboh.

In sixth place across the finish-line – first in AM class – was a stunning Sergio Paulet who had been quick to take advantage of Delacour running wide, to reinstate Spain among the Ferrari Challenge protagonists. Second was Delacour, while an excellent Oliver Plassmann (Ulrich Frankfurt) posted third spot after getting the better of Hanno Laskowsky (Riller & Schnauck) and a highly-competitive Marco Pulcini (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing).

At the end of the race, stewards reversed Delacour and Plassmann’s positions, deeming that the Frenchman had not respected track limits, leading to an unfair advantage over his rival.