Five new stars in America’s motorsport sky
This year the Ferrari Challenge North America celebrated its quarter century. The 25th season of the one-make series held in Canada and the United States, was marked as always by thrills and spectacle with heated duels and an array of drivers winning podium places.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli season saw a duel from first to last between reigning champion Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) and last year’s third placed driver, Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Beverly Hills). At Daytona, MacNeil won Race-1 ahead of Ludwig, but the positions were reversed the following day. At COTA, the Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Silicon Valley driver beat Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) in Race-1, while they both did poorly on Sunday. MacNeil’s victory on Saturday was counterbalanced by Ludwig’s subdued performance, but in Race-2 the Wide World Ferrari driver won while his rival went away empty-handed. This scenario repeated at Montreal and Watkins Glen while MacNeil took 32 points at Road Atlanta against Ludwig’s 34. At Monza, MacNeil wrapped it up in Race-1 winning his first Ferrari Challenge title.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am was so hard-fought that four drivers arrived at the final round of Monza still in with a chance of the title. Rob Hodes of Scuderia CAVA-Ferrari of Washington, had long been at the top of the standings, with only two victories, Race-2 at both Daytona and COTA, but with five further podiums and four fourth places. Ross Chouest, on the other hand, suffered two mediocre weekends at Daytona and Laguna Seca but emerged in the second half of the year to bag three of the last four races at Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta where he did the double. In the final round, he won Race-1 so only needed a third place the next day to clinch the title.
Coppa Shell. Thomas Tippl, on the contrary, was the dominator in the Coppa Shell. The Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Beverly Hills driver was promoted to the Coppa Shell Am after the first race of the season and then literally dominated the scene, leaving just one win to Brian Kaminskey, Geoff Palermo and Mark Fuller, who finished in second place. Chris Carel came third in the championship standings.
Coppa Shell Am. Coppa Shell Am was clinched by rookie John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island) winning seven races out of 14 at Daytona, Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta and Monza, in Race-1, with which he sealed the title. Kevan Millstein (Scuderia CAVA-Ferrari of San Diego) placed second, while Dale Katechis of Miller Motorcars finished third.
Trofeo Pirelli 458 Challenge EVO. The Trofeo Pirelli 458 Challenge EVO title for the cars that took part to the Trofeo Pirelli from 2011 to 2017, was only held in North America and had been reduced to just four rounds. Martin Burrowes of Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale dominated with five wins out of eight races. The other three went to John Farano (Ferrari of Ontario), James Walker (Ferrari of Houston) and Trevor Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo), the latter second and third in the championship.