Imola will be the venue next weekend for one of the most important events of the Ferrari Challenge Europe season. Indeed a number of titles may be decided there with one round still to go. Over forty 488 Challenges are expected at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, which together with the 458 Challenge EVOs, will offer a truly unforgettable spectacle.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli, currently led by Daniele Di Amato of CDP, is one of the championships that may be decided over the weekend. The young Italian is 43 points out in front and if he leaves Imola having gained three more points on his main rival, Austria’s Philipp Baron, would seal a second career win in the 25 year-old championship. However, the Rossocorsa team driver isn’t taking anything for granted as he showed in his victory in the last race at Silverstone. Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) and Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa Pellin-Racing) are locked in a battle for third, separated by just two points.
Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am certainly won’t be decided at Imola. Germany’s Jens Liebhauser, of Formula Racing, has a 16-point lead over the big star of the Silverstone weekend, Chris Froggatt (HR Owen). Sweden’s Martin Nelson of Autoropa Scuderia is third and a bit further back but it would be foolish to rule him out. He dominated the first part of the season and if he were to regain the form of the first two rounds could yet turn the tables.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell battle has also unexpectedly reopened. Indeed, it seemed that Denmark’s Johnny Laursen, who drives for Formula Racing, the team with which he also won the 2015 European Le Mans Series behind the wheel of a 458 Italia, was on his way to the title. However, France’s Henry Hassid did the double at Silverstone and, with his rival’s withdrawal in Race-2, is now 36 points off top spot. There is a big scrap for third place, with Eric Cheung (Formula Racing), Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) all within 10 points of each other.
Women. The battle for the Ladies’ Cup is wide open. Besides current leader Manuela Gostner, and Tina Kok, Imola will also see the return of young Fabienne Wohlwend, Liechtenstein’s representative in the race with the 488 Challenge of Octane 126.
Programme. The Challenge weekend will kick off on Wednesday with a day of testing although the actual programme will open on Friday with tests and free practices. On Saturday and Sunday qualifying for Race-1 is scheduled for 9 am (Coppa Shell) and 11.30 am (Trofeo Pirelli) with the races scheduled for 12:50 pm and 3:35 pm.
Source. Ferrari/Photo. John Patterson