The third season of the Ferrari Challenge UK came to a close with the fifth round of the Prancing Horse national series, held this weekend at Oulton Park. It was an exciting year that saw James Swift’s (Dick Lovett Swindon) Trofeo Pirelli and Graham de Zille’s (Meridien Modena) Coppa Shell titles go to the wire, with an intense and hard-fought finale that saw Swift and de Zille win their respective categories in Race 1. In Race 2, H.Sikkens (H.R. Owen London) and de Zille took the wins in their classes.
Trofeo Pirelli. With 5 race wins out of only 8 races he competed in, Swift got the better of Lucky Khera (Graypaul Birmingham), who fought Swift for the title until the very end.
After missing the opening round at Brands Hatch, Swift has gradually improved his feeling for the 488 Challenge Evo to the point where he has been unstoppable with 5 consecutive victories that allowed him to close a 19 point deficit on reigning champion Khera and overtake him in the standings at the final round at Oulton Park. The driver from Birmingham has made the consistency of his performance his strong point, but 8 podiums including 2 wins were not enough to repel the assault of his rival Swift. Third place went to Sikkens (H.R. Owen London) who, after being crowned World Champion of the Trofeo Pirelli Am at the 2020 World Finals held in Misano, climbed onto the podium on several occasions during the season, taking victory in the opening race at Brands Hatch and the season finale at Oulton Park.
Coppa Shell. Graham de Zille dominated the category, with 8 wins, 8 pole positions and 8 fastest laps, ending the season with 165 points. The domination of the experienced driver from Lyndhurst was interrupted on only a few occasions by Paul Simmerson (Graypaul Birmingham) and Laurent de Meeus (H.R. Owen London) who each achieved one win at Snetterton and Silverstone respectively.
Team. In the special dealer ranking Graypaul Birmingham took the title by 8 lengths ahead of H. R. Owen London, with Meridien Modena finishing third at 160.
Balance sheet. In its first year of competitive use on British soil, the 488 Challenge Evo proved to be well adapted to the demanding British tracks and, above all, to be well received by the drivers who benefited from the great improvements introduced by the Evo kit and the new Pirelli tyres, developed specifically for these cars. There was no lack of spectacle on the track, thanks to duels and overtaking, made possible also thanks to the great respect between the drivers, also visible in the paddock at the end of the races.
2022. The Oulton Park circuit will host the opening round of the 2022 season, which will once again consist of 5 stages. After the debut on 6 and 7 May, the protagonists of the British series will compete on the Snetterton track, before moving on to the three most famous circuits in England: Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Silverstone, all the scene of Formula 1 world championship races.