Melbourne, 24 March 2018 – Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific Series first round Race 1 started under the Safety Car due to heavy rainfall. The skies opened above Australia’s iconic Albert Park Grand Prix circuit in Melbourne and track conditions were extremely slippery. All 27 cars were fitted with wet tires as they took positions on the grid. Despite the weather, spectators of the weekend braved the rain and found their seats in the various grandstands around the 5.303km circuit. The race also finished under Safety Car due to Kanthicha Chimsiri of Thailand getting stuck in the gravel trap at Turn 1 after aquaplaning down the straight. Race direction took the standings at lap 8 and declared the winners.
Trofeo Pirelli. The practice sessions on Thursday proved to be essential as most of the 27 Ferrari Challenge drivers were new to the street circuit. It was crucial for the drivers to understand the fast and flowing road course combined with extensive runoff in many corners. The track design that features few true straights means that the track is not conducive to overtaking. However, this didn’t stop race debutant Rama Danindro of Indonesia. Dandindro quickly showed his pace and moved into the lead, overtaking pole-sitter James Weiland from USA. He lapped over a second faster than the field and led all the way to the finish line. Weiland and Renaldi Hutasoit from Indonesia had a hard fought battle for the remaining places on the podium with Hutasoit finally coming in third.
Coppa Shell. In the Shell class, the winner was Vincent Wong from Hong Kong, followed by Tiger Wu from Chinese Taipei and Eric Zang of China in third place. It was clear from the start that Wong was unstoppable and kept his lead from start to finish. There was a fierce battle behind him between Wu and Zang but Wu managed to keep his composure and came in second place.
Shell Am. Coppa Shell Am class had Andrew Moon from Korea as the first place finisher, followed by Kent Chen of Chinese Taipei who managed to recover from a spin to finish second. In third place was Min Xiao from China. For Moon, it was a sweet victory as he started second on the grid in his class but managed to seize the opportunity when David Dicker of New Zealand retired off the track and kept his lead throughout the first race of the weekend. Grant Baker from New Zealand was the winner of the Gentlemen Cup.
Schedule. The starting order for Race-2 is determined by today’s track results. Track action weekend at Albert Park continues tomorrow at 10.50 Am local time.