Challenge APAC Season Review – Florian Merckx wins Trofeo Pirelli at first attempt

26 December 2016

Challenge APAC Season Review – Florian Merckx wins Trofeo Pirelli at first attempt

Maranello, 26 December 2016 – It was another great season for the Ferrari Challenge APAC. Indeed, the sixth edition of the Asian series was better than ever, with tight races from start to finish. There was a high level of competition among the drivers, nearly 60 of whom battled it out on some of the most beautiful tracks in Asia at the wheel of the 458 Challenge EVO.

 

Trofeo Pirelli. Belgium’s Florian Merckx won the Trofeo Pirelli. Arriving from the European series he wanted to try something new and test himself on lesser known but equally fascinating tracks. Merckx astonished everyone by winning the first race of the season at Suzuka, but it became clear from Race-2 that the Belgian would have to really battle for the title.Indeed Indonesia’s Renaldi Martin Hutasoit won that race while the red car with kangaroo logo of Australia’s Steve Wyatt also finished ahead of his 458 Challenge EVO.Wyatt won Race-1 in Abu Dhabi with the second going to Thai guest star Kantasak Kusiri, who came directly from the GT Asia Championship where he went on to win the GTM class title. So four races produced four different winners.

 

Wyatt shines. Wyatt was the first to notch up a second win in Race-1 at Shanghai, followed the next day by Hutasoit. The situation became tricky for Merckx when Wyatt won both outings in Sepang and Hutasoit also overtook him in the standings. The Belgian only again claimed the laurels of victory at one of the most exclusive competitions of the season. In Singapore Florian did the double while Hutasoit limited the damage with two second places. However, Wyatt badly lost ground, forced to retire in Race-1 and a non-starter in the second.

 

Florian on a high. There was everything to play for again with Merckx in the lead. The Belgian decisively bolstered his advantage at Fuji, with another brace to take his total for the season to five against four for Wyatt and two for Hutasoit. At the Finali Mondiali Merckx scored the points needed to be crowned champion Friday after Race-1