Challenge NA – Challenge Drivers Conquer Road America

13 August 2017

Challenge NA – Challenge Drivers Conquer Road America

Plymouth Wis, 13 August 2017 – Forty eight drivers took the green flag under sunny skies at the forth round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge season in North America on Saturday as clear skies and high speeds marked the day.  Drivers in the 488 Challenge car reached speeds in excess of 180 m.p.h. as they tackled the long straights, heavy braking zones and sweeping corners of the historic Road America circuit.

 

458 EVO. Francesco Piovanetti completed a perfect weekend, starting with pole position in the morning, claimed by two tenths of a second over Naveen Rao and his Ferrari of San Diego 458 EVO.  In fact, the battle for the top three was remarkably tight, with the top three separated by only four tenths of a second.  Once the race got underway on Sunday afternoon, Francesco was untouchable taking the fastest lap in the class alongside the win.  The true battles were further back in the grid where Trevor Baek and his Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo car worked their way into the top three by the end of the race.

Coppa Shell. Karl Williams continued his strong run of form, taking victory on Saturday afternoon on the back of an excellent qualifying performance in the morning.  His lap of 2:10.6 was good for pole position by four tenths of a second over Jerome Jacalone and his Ferrari of Long Island 488 Challenge car.  Come the afternoon race, Karl built and managed a gap that he would never relinquish.  Further back, however, our Gentleman’s Cup winner, Osvaldo Gaio and his Miller Motorcars 488 Challenge car came through from fifth in the class to claim the second step on the podium.  Dave Musial also continued his consistent performances, picking up third position.

 

Trofeo Pirelli AM. Joel Weinberger claimed a home town win in his Continental AutoSports 488 Challenge car.  In keeping with the theme of the day, a strong qualifying performance foreshadowed what was to come in the race.  Joe Courtney took second on the grid, but was over a half second behind, with Chris Cagnazzi another tenth further back.  Come the afternoon race, Chris was able to pass Joe Courtney fairly early on and set about building a gap.  At the front, Joel immediately produced a series of laps that generated a gap that would never be threatened.  The true battle, however, was for third.  Joe Courtney and his Miller Motorcars 488 Challenge was in for a serious threat from Marc Muzzo throughout the race.  Joe, however, held strong and took the final step on the podium.

 

Trofeo Pirelli. Cooper MacNeil made great strides on his championship bid with a victory at his hometown circuit.  Starting from the third position, Cooper opportunistically passed Peter Ludwig and Wei Lu over the course of the race until a late safety car neutralized the competition over the last few laps.  Wei Lu, who started the race on pole, survived a scary moment in the fastest turn on the track, the Kink, where he was forced to take to the grass, narrowly avoiding a serious accident.  Martin Fuentes, battling illness throughout the weekend, came home a strong third.