Montmelò – Ferrari 488 Challenge drivers Nicklas Nielsen, Chris Froggatt, Christophe Hurni and Alexander Nussbaumer won the first races of the Barcelona round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe 2018. Froggatt also sealed the Trofeo Pirelli Am title, the first to be decided this season.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell race opened the day with Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) warding off the attack of a rampant Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) to hold onto the top spot he gained in qualifying. Fons Scheltema was third in the 488 Challenge of Kessel Racing. Further back, Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) embarked on an ordeal that saw him lose positions and valuable points. Hurni sealed his third career win in the Ferrari Challenge Europe ahead of Manuela Gostner, who recorded her third second place finish. Behind Scheltema came championship leader Eric Cheung (Formula Racing), who still tops the standings albeit less than 10 points ahead of Hurni.
Shell Am. Alexander Nussbaumer pulled off a perfect race in the Coppa Shell Am: starting from second, the Formula Racing driver passed poleman Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) and went on to win. However, the Turk has reason to celebrate as he now leads the championship standings courtesy of the retirement of Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa). Only 2.5 points separate Murat and Nussbaumer, now his closest rival. Third place went to Dusan Palcr in the 488 Challenge of Scuderia Praha, who did well to overhaul Malaysia’s David Lim (Formula Racing), who nevertheless achieved his career’s best result.
Trofeo Pirelli. The afternoon saw the Trofeo Pirelli race in which Danish driver Nicklas Nielsen (Formula Racing) held onto first position at the start ahead of Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). Behind them though all hell broke loose with rookie Oliver Grotz losing control of the 488 Challenge of Formula Racing and smashing into teammate Sean Hudspeth and John Sawbridge (Ferrari GB – HR Owen), both forced to retire. Nielsen won ahead of Grossman in second, while third place went to Jens Liebhauser (Formula Racing) followed by Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. In addition to Hudspeth, Grotz’s mistake at the start also knocked out John Sawbridge who waved goodbye to his run of consecutive finishes in the points. All this made it even easier for championship leader Chris Froggatt, whose only challenger was Jack Brown (Ferrari GB – Graypaul Nottingham). Third place went to Danish driver Claus Zibrandsen (Formula Racing) while a seventh win gave Froggatt, the season’s dominator, mathematical certainty of the title also courtesy of a crash that involved Scuderia Autoropa’s Martin Nelson and Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126). The race ended behind the Safety Car.
On Sunday, the races will set off again at 12.50 pm (Coppa Shell) and 3.35 pm (Trofeo Pirelli).