Following the success of round one of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli at Portimão, this weekend, the Prancing Horse’s continental one-make series will be at the Le Castellet circuit, France, for round two, with not fewer than fifty-three 488 Challenge Evos taking part.
Trofeo Pirelli. Doriane Pin’s (Scuderia Niki – Iron Lynx) dream double-win in Portugal makes the young Frenchwoman the favourite on her home track. Besides Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing) and John Wartique (FML – D2P), second and third respectively in the ranking, her rivals for top spot include Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil (Gohm Motorsport) and Max Mugelli (CDP – Eureka Competition), returning to the category after his experiences in the early 2000s. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, which sees the Frenchman Ange Barde (SF Côte d’Azur Cannes – IB FAST) ahead of the field on 32 points, Alexandre and Mikael Bochez (Kessel Racing) and Nigel Schoonderwoerd (FMA) will make their debuts. However, eyes will be on the reigning world champion Christian Brunsborg (Formula Racing), targeting a comeback after a challenging round in Algarve.
Coppa Shell. The Paul Ricard also sees the return of series and world champion Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport). The Austrian will be up against fifteen other drivers, including Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) and Franz Engstler (Scuderia GT), currently first and second in the standings on 30 and 29 points, respectively, and will face his 2021 rival James Weiland (Rossocorsa). After a successful weekend in Portimão, Manuela Gostner (CDP – MP Racing) will seek a podium to secure her third position in the standings, an outcome she has achieved six times in her one-make career. In the Coppa Shell Am, the class with the most cars at the start, leader Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm Motorsport – Herter Racing) will need to fend off attacks from the opening round’s revelation, Briton Mark Bailey (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), who trails him by seven points, and the always competitive Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa).
30 years. The celebration of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli’s 30th anniversary will continue in France with the cars that have made its history. The F355 Challenge, which raced from 1995 to 2000, will take centre stage at the Paul Ricard. A direct derivation of the road-going berlinetta, this model was fitted with a specific exhaust system and clutch, plus the safety features required for use on the track: roll cage, six-point harness, fire extinguisher, front and rear tow bar and electric circuit breaker. The engine remains the same, a 380-horsepower V8.
Programme. The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will kick off on Friday, 13 May, with free practice sessions, before continuing on Saturday the 14th with qualifying for the Coppa Shell races, scheduled to start at 1.30 p.m., and the Trofeo Pirelli, with the lights going out at 4 p.m. (local time). Sunday’s programme will be a repeat of Saturday’s. Qualifying and the races will be broadcast live and free of charge with English-language commentary on Ferrari’s YouTube channel.