The 488 Challenge took to the high banks of the Daytona International Speedway on a breezy but sunny day near the beaches of Daytona for the first round of the 2018 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli season in North America. The unique layout of the Daytona course required set-up compromises from the Ferrari Challenge teams that boosted top speeds over 190 m.p.h., compromised the handling of the 488 Challenge machine in the infield portion of the race track.
Trofeo Pirelli – Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari Silicon Valley) kicked off his season, and his Daytona weekend with pole position, a position he established by nearly half of a second over James Weiland (Boardwalk Ferrari). Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) rounded out the top three, just one tenth further away from Cooper. Cooper’s pole was particularly auspicious as he will be competing in the 24 Hours at Daytona, in addition to his Ferrari Challenge season, meaning that he will be spending the most time of any driver on the Daytona circuit.
Trofeo Pirelli AM – Dave Musial (Lake Forest Sportscars) took the first pole position on offer in the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, beating Murray Rothlander (Ferrari of Vancouver) and Rob Hodes (Ferrari of Washington) by just over two tenths. The fight for second was well fought, with Murray sneaking through to second by four hundredths of a second.
Coppa Shell – Mark Fuller (Ferrari of Westlake) led Brian Kaminskey (Ferrari of Long Island) and Chris Carel (Ferrari of Westlake) to pole position in an impossibly tight Coppa Shell field. Mark took Poke by just one hundredth of a second over Brian, while only three hundredths separated the entire top three.
Coppa Shell AM – The all new Coppa Shell class offered the newest Ferrari Challenge drivers an opportunity to pursue their own glory on the historic surface of Daytona. Series novice Thomas Tippl (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) set an impressive time of 1:50.1, beating the entire Coppa Shell field in addition to Coppa Shell AM. Further back, Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) and Dale Katechis (Miller Motorcars) took second and third positions.