The weekend marking the return of the Ferrari Challenge Europe began with the first free practice sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. The morning was quite sunny; during the afternoon the sky turned cloudy, with a light shower of rain pouring down in the last hour. This, though, never forced drivers to use slick tires.
Free Practice 1. The first 488 Challenge Evo to take to the track, officially opening the season, was Matúš Vyboh (Scuderia Praha) #6. The fastest in the morning session of the Trofeo Pirelli was Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi – Courage) who clocked a time of 1:43.789. Just over two tenths behind him, Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126). Michelle Gatting (Niki Hasler) set the third fastest time. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am standings, Matúš Vyboh (Scuderia Praha) set the best time for his class (1:45.447, fourth overall). AC (Rossocorsa) came second, while Roman Ziemian (Octane 126) finished third.
In the 90-minute session dedicated to the Coppa Shell, the veteran Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) clocked the best time after getting acquainted with the circuit; eventually, he managed to set a stunning 1:45.595. Behind him Thomas Gostner (CDP – MP Racing), 0.406 seconds behind, while Roger Grouwels (Race Art Kroymans) got the third overall time (1.030 behind Scheltema). Fourth best time (and best lap for the Shell Am class) for “Alex Fox” (SF Grand Est Mulhouse), who was at the top of the standings for most of the session. Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen), fifth overall, followed. Third and eighth overall time for the German “Boris Gideon” of Formula Racing.
Free Practice 2. In the second free practice session (Trofeo Pirelli), Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi – Courage) was once again the fastest driver and managed to improve his best time to 1:43.425. Behind him, Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa), more consistent than during morning practice. Still third was Michelle Gatting (Niki Hasler). Another confirmation in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, with Matúš Vyboh (Scuderia Praha) clinching the best time ahead of Formula Racing’s drivers Frederik Paulsen and Oliver Grotz.
During the Coppa Shell free practice some rain came down, but it was so light that the driver managed to keep dry tires for the whole session. The best overall time was clocked by “Alex Fox” (SF Grand Est Mulhouse) in the Coppa Shell Am. The French driver was faster than Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen) and Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing). The Coppa Shell’s fastest time was instead set by Fons Scheltema of Kessel Racing – second overall – ahead of Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) and Thomas Gostner (CDP – MP Racing).
Qualifying. The Ferrari Challenge Europe drivers will be back on track tomorrow, 4 July, to battle for Race 1 pole position. The 30-minute sessions will start at 12:00 (Trofeo Pirelli) and 14.30 (Coppa Shell).