Oyama, 8th July 2017 – Under cloudy skies and sunny conditions, crowds came to see the first race of the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific at Fuji Speedway, situated in the foothills of Mount Fuji. 35 drivers from 13 different nationalities saw true competition among the various classes on the 4.563 kilometre circuit with one of the longest straights in motorsport tracks, at 1.475 km in length. This round also saw a record 23 Ferrari 488 Challenge cars taking part in the competition.
Trofeo Pirelli. The practice sessions on Friday proved to be essential as many of the Challenge drivers were new to the Fuji circuit. Understanding the track and getting acquainted with it is crucial for a driver’s success at this circuit, known for its tight hairpin turns and demanding esses at Turn 10. Dominating the first race of the Trofeo Pirelli class was pole-sitter Philippe Prette from Italy, the current leader on the standing board. He took charge of the race and lead from start to finish. Go Max, despite homeground advantage, simply could not find his extra pace to overtake Prette, who crossed the finish line unchallenged. Third position went to Angelo Negro from Italy.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. In the Pirelli AM class, the winner was Tiger Wu from Chinese Taipei. Coming in second for this class was newcomer Angie King of Philippines who recovered from a spin to hold track position, followed by Yanbin Xing from China who was leading before this race and now is one point behind Wu.
Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell classification, Eric Zang of China, a relative newcomer as this is only his third racing weekend, was the clear victor. He managed to overtake pole-sitter Makoto Fujiwara of Japan during the second lap and kept his lead all the way to the chequered flag. Fujiwara, who remains leader in the championship standings, dropped two places and ended at the bottom of the podium. Charles Chan from Hong Kong took second position. David Dicker from New Zealand was the winner of the Gentlemen Cup while Kanthicha Chimsiri from Thailand took the Ladies’ Cup.
Trofeo Pirelli 458. Eleven drivers raced in their Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO cars under the Trofeo Pirelli 458 classification. Martin Berry of Australia emerged victorious in this race, taking his fourth win of the season. He held a comfortable lead over Min Xiao of China, who came in second. Tamotsu Kondo of Japan came in third.
Schedule. Track action continues tomorrow for Race-2 of the Ferrari Challenge weekend at Fuji Speedway. This will take place at 4.30 PM local time.