Abu Dhabi, 7th April 2017 – The first of two races of the 1st round of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific took place today under the night sky of the Arabian desert at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi with lots of thrilling action. 24 drivers from 12 different nationalities, including Lebanon, Japan, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Canada and Italy, pitted themselves against the challenging 5.554 kilometre circuit with 21 twisting turns to see who could come up tops. The Ferrari 488 Challenge made its worldwide race debut and the car proved to be very resistant. Despite a huge accident where the car hurled towards the barriers at an approximate speed of 150 km/h and crashed, the driver Huilin Han from China was unhurt. The race was finally red flagged because of the damage to the barriers with only 7 laps completed. Race direction took the standings at lap 6 and declared the winners.
Trofeo Pirelli. Race-1 presented a wave of action as the drivers had to take time to get themselves acquainted with the track. Fortunately, the night air was cool. Dominating the first round of the Trofeo Pirelli class was Angelo Negro from Italy. He had a good start because he was able to overtake Philippe Prette the pole-sitter, also from Italy. He was chasing after Han when the latter had the accident and kept his lead at the end. The safety car was sent in after the accident and when the race was stopped, Negro was declared the winner. This was Negro’s first win in the Ferrari Challenge series. Second was Zen Low from Malaysia and third was Prette. Prette lost many places when he was clipped by Ken Seto from Japan but was able to come back and secure a place on the podium.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. In the Pirelli AM class, the winner was Tiger Wu from Chinese Taipei. Coming in second for this class was Yanbin Xing from China, followed by Ken Seto of Japan. It was clear from the start that Tiger had a gear more than his rivals and kept his lead from start to finish. There was a fierce battle behind him between Seto and Xing. Seto lost many places after his accident with Prette but was able to make a comeback and started to fight with Xing for second place when the race was neutralised.
Trofeo Pirelli 458. Six drivers raced in their Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO cars under the Trofeo Pirelli 458 classification. Martin Berry of Australia emerged victorious in his maiden race. Although he was battling wheel to wheel with Tani Hanna of Lebanon, he managed to keep his composure to stand on the top podium. Min Xiao of China came in third.
Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell classification, Makoto Fujiwara from Japan was the clear victor and kept his lead all the way to the chequered flag. The other two podium positions went to Kent Chen from Chinese Taipei and David Dicker from New Zealand, who was also the winner of the Gentlemen Cup. Kanthicha Chimsiri from Thailand took the Ladies’ Cup.
Schedule. Track action continues tomorrow for Race 2 of the Ferrari Challenge weekend at Yas Marina Circuit. This will take place at 7.30PM local time.