Neubauer and Cuhadaroglu among the surprises in the free practices
Challenge Europe

Neubauer and Cuhadaroglu among the surprises in the free practices

Valencia | 30 March 2019

After the three testing sessions, the late afternoon unfolded with two free practices valid for the Trofeo Pirelli and the Coppa Shell competitions.

Trofeo Pirelli and Pirelli AM. The evenness amongst competitors which had become evident in the opening 2019 races was once again on display at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. Fastest by the end of the scheduled sixty minutes proved to be Thomas Neubauer (1:35.524) who preceded Sam Smeeth, poleman in Bahrain, by almost four tenths of a second. On the second row of the virtual grid were an efficient Jack Brown (first among the drivers of the Trofeo Pirelli AM) and Bjorn Grossmann on his return, who was straight away at ease with the car. No less surprising were the performances of the two debutants Maximilian Mayer and Jan Danis. The first chalked up fine times over fifteen laps, while the Slovakian, signed up to the Pirelli AM class, managed to precede Louis Prette and Niccolò Schirò, winners of the first two races in Sakhir.

Coppa Shell and Shell AM. After a tricky weekend in Bahrain, Turkish driver Murat Cuhadaroglu was bonding well with his Ferrari 488 Challenge on the Valencian circuit, lapping with consistency to clock up a fastest lap (1:36.985) on the nineteenth of twenty-three laps completed. Hot on his heels, just twelve milliseconds adrift was the Austrian, Ernst Kirchmayr, which confirms the fine impression given in Sakhir, two tenths of a second ahead of Danish driver Henrik Jansen, first among the drivers from the Coppa Shell AM class. Fourth place went to Tani Hanna, third in the Coppa Shell, followed by Fons Scheltema and Christian Kinch. Polish driver Agata Smolka, tenth overall, is second in the Shell Am category, ahead of “Alex Fox”.


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