Prette and Tabacchi, prestigious wins at Sakhir
Ferrari Challenge Europe

Prette and Tabacchi, prestigious wins at Sakhir

Sakhir | 17 February 2019

Louis Prette (Formula Racing) and Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa) triumphed in Race-2 of the Trofeo Pirelli, both in the overall and the AM class. The race, held under artificial light, was very hard-fought and full of overtaking, in part due to the grid handicaps applied following Race-1, which overturned the results of qualifying. This measure, designed to create more excitement, penalised the drivers classified in first, second and third places by six, four and two positions respectively.

Furious comebacks. The new starting grid meant that Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi – Courage) entered the first corner alongside Alessandro Bonacini (Kessel Racing), while the two Race-1 winners, Niccolò Schirò (Rossocorsa) and Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa), set off from the last row. The start was unproblematic as Neubauer held onto his position in front of Bonacini, with the pair beginning a fierce fight to which Prette and Smeeth were two very interested observers. With a formidable first lap, Schirò was already in sixth by lap 2, which became fifth on the third and fourth a lap later. Emanuele Maria Tabacchi made a very similar comeback. Among the leaders, Louis Prette put on quite a show, recording the fastest lap, before successfully attacking Bonacini, to slip into second.

In the AM category, after the disappointment of Race-1, Manuela Gostner was aiming for a good result and, with this in mind drove a very aggressive and tenacious race, holding off the attacks of Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa). However, this was not enough to repel the frenzied ascent of Tabacchi who took the lead in the class on lap 6.

Decisive attacks. The race leader, Neubauer held a slight advantage over Prette who, after passing Bonacini, failed to pull away from his rival. Behind them, Schirò and Sam Smeeth – who suffered a 5-second penalty for contact with Manuela Gostner – continued to fight it out. A similar situation saw Martin Nelson and Jack Brown (Ferrari GB – Graypaul Nottingham) battle for second position among the AM drivers. The Briton passed the Swede just as Prette took the lead with a classic overtaking move against Neubauer on lap 11. At this point of the race, Neubauer had difficulty in holding off the attacks of Schirò who, after passing Bonacini to move into third three laps from the chequered flag, let rip with an attack on the Frenchman. Bonacini, who could have clinched a podium finish, had to slow down dramatically due to a suspension problem after a heavy contact with the kerb. Smeeth beat him to the chequered flag, but his lead was less than the penalty he had previously suffered.

Louis Prette crossed the line in first place, 4.6 seconds ahead of Niccolò Schirò and 8.3 seconds in front of Thomas Neubauer, while in the Pirelli AM class, the unstoppable Emanuele Maria Tabacchi was joined on the podium by Jack Brown and Martin Nelson.


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