The cancellation of the second Trofeo Pirelli race of the weekend marked the first time in Ferrari Challenge history that a race has been called off due to bad weather. The snow, which had covered the hills surrounding the Spielberg track overnight, continued to fall abundantly after this morning’s two qualifying sessions. The first race on the programme, the Coppa Shell, was halted with the appearance of the red flag due to the snow five minutes before the end. The snowfall showed no sign of easing off between the close of the Coppa Shell race and the start of the Trofeo Pirelli. So thirty minutes before it was due to start, in agreement with the team managers, the stewards cancelled the race due to weather conditions that prevented its normal conduct.
Trofeo Pirelli. Louis Prette (Formula Racing) was the fastest driver during the morning qualifying session in very snowy conditions. He also earned an extra point for pole position.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. Jack Brown (Graypaul Nottingham) was the quickest in qualifying and, thanks to the point gained with pole position, further extended his lead in the standings over Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa).
Coppa Shell. After a start behind the Safety Car to allow the drivers to adjust to the track conditions and somehow warm up the tyres with temperatures close to zero, Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) spent lap 1 on the attack, first passing Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) and then Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing). The two, who had lit up Race-1, continued their duel on a track made increasingly treacherous by the snow. In consequence, the race officials brought on the Safety Car with 13 minutes out of the 30 still to go. The heavy snowfall showed no sign of easing and five minutes before the chequered flag, the red flag appeared and froze the rankings. Home driver Ernst Kirchmayr thus secured his second victory of the season after Race-2 in Valencia. 2018 Coppa Shell Am champion Murat Cuhadaroglu came second, for his first podium in the new category, with Canadian Eric Cheung in third. Tani Hanna (Formula Racing), who was the fastest in qualifying this morning, finished sixth, unable to fight back from the fifth row to where he had been relegated by the Grid Handicap.
Coppa Shell Am. Henrik Jansen (Formula Racing) secured his third win of the season in a race that saw him on the tail of the Coppa Shell drivers before the red flag halted proceedings. Starting from pole, the Dane easily controlled his 488 Challenge and never had to worry about his class rivals. Second place went to Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen), followed by Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing) in third. After a splendid Race-1 win, Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa) finished ninth, slowed by a spin on lap six, thus allowing Jansen and De Meeus back into the fight for first place in the class.
Rankings and upcoming events. In the Trofeo Pirelli: Niccolò Schirò (73), Louis Prette (70), Sam Smeeth (64); in the Trofeo Pirelli AM: Jack Brown (91), Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (77), Jan Danis (31); in the Coppa Shell: Tani Hanna (89), Ernst Kirchmayr (75), Eric Cheung (62); in the Coppa Shell AM: Laurent De Meeus (78), Henrik Jansen (76), Agata Smolka (74); Coppa Team: Formula Racing (286), Rossocorsa (242), Baron Motorsport (133).
The next round of the Ferrari Challenge Europa takes place from 12 to 15 June at Le Mans, when the Prancing Horse’s one-make series will be the support race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.