Monza, 10 June 2017 – Daniele Di Amato, Martin Nelson and Erich Prinoth in the brand new 488 Challenge won the first Ferrari Challenge races of the Monza weekend, celebrating the second round of the European series. Fans were treated to two races packed with excitement and spectacle.
Coppa Shell. The first race of the day was the Coppa Shell, which, as often, was also the most spectacular with lots of bumps and a spectacular accident. Johnny Laursen started poorly from first on the grid and ended up being sucked back into the group. Christoph Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) pulled ahead of everyone but Erich Prinoth was in immediate pursuit. Indeed the Ineco-MP Racing driver was already in front by the end of the first lap after a great overtake at the Serraglio. Soon after, Thomas Gostner offered further proof of the sturdiness of the new 488 Challenge. The Ineco-MP Racing driver was involved in a terrible accident. After colliding heavily with a curb, Gostner suffered a puncture to lose control of the car at nearly 300 km/h on the main straight. Like a billiard ball, the 488 Challenge smacked first into the barriers to its left, before crossing the track and smashing into the entirely innocent Christian Kinch (Gohm Motorsport). Both drivers were unhurt. After a long period of the Safety Car, Prinoth, who also won the Gentlemen’s Cup, crossed the line first ahead of Hurni and Eric Cheung (Formula Racing). The debutant Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) also had a great race, placed fifth overall and winner of the Ladies’ Cup.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli provided an equally tight race, although without any dramatic incidents. Daniele Di Amato (CDP), in pole, enjoyed the best start, immediately establishing a lead with a bit of help from Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari). The latter had a real fight with Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) and Fabio Leimer (Octane 126). Amato drove unchallenged to victory while behind Baron and Leimer both overtook Smeeth. Then at the end the pair collided and ended up skipping the first chicane on the penultimate lap. Leimer suffered damage that relegated him to last place while Baron was hit with a 25-second penalty. This allowed Smeeth to finish second while third place went to Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. Martin Nelson, the driver who had dominated in Valencia, did the lion’s share of the work in the Pirelli Am class. The Scuderia Autoropa driver finished ahead of Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) and Jens Liebhauser (Gohm Motorsport) dominating the race and taking the 9th win of his career. It is the same again on Sunday with the Coppa Shell at 12:50 pm and the Trofeo Pirelli at 3:35 pm.