With the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell championship titles claimed by Jamie Clarke and Toby Flannagan, the successful first season for the Ferrari Challenge UK has drawn to a close. The final act of the British national series, held at Silverstone, went right down to the wire and had lots of twist and turn.
Saturday. Jamie Clarke came away the net winner of the first event of the weekend, a fact never really in doubt, even with the Safety Car affecting the opening stages of the race. The Stratstone Manchester driver capitalised on the absence of the overall championship leader Jamie Baker, to make off with a fine haul of points and claim top-spot on the leader board. Alongside Clarke on the Trofeo Pirelli podium was Andrew Bruce (Meridien Modena) with his best season finish and Paul Hogarth (Stratstone Manchester). In the Coppa Shell, after a hard-fought battle, Toby Flannagan (Maranello Sales) made off with the honours, ahead of Alex Moss (Graypaul Birmingham) and Stuart Willson (Graypaul Nottingham).
Sunday. The return of Jason Baker (Dick Lovett Swindon) and the appearance of the rain in the period between qualifying and the race-start, only added to the uncertainty over who would scoop the race and title honours. Clarke, however, after having clinched pole position in the morning’s qualifying, executed a perfect showing from grid to flag, in spite of great pressure from Baker who had claimed the fastest lap. Clarke, who had only needed to secure runner-up position – even in the case of a win from his rival – was thus crowned Trofeo Pirelli champion of the British series. On his heels, in both the championship table and the podium, came Jason Baker. At the conclusion of the thirty-minute race Paul Hogarth took the chequered flag in third spot, while Henry Simmons (Maranello Sales) rounded off the season in third place in the overall standings.
In the Coppa Shell, finishing off a complicated race after taking a spin at the start, Toby Flannagan was proclaimed champion ahead of Gary Redman (Graypaul Nottingham) and Richard Guy (Charles Hurst). The race – a thriller as usual – saw Stuart Willson grab the win, while an exciting finale ended with Jamie Thwaites (JTC600 Brooklands Leeds) crossing the finish-line ahead of Alex Moss.
The eventual winner in the special category reserved for dealers, was Maranello Sales.
Final result. The weekend of racing held at Silverstone wraps up the first season of the Ferrari Challenge UK with an extremely positive final result for the British national series. Four rounds, eight races, twenty 488 Challenge cars on the grid and battles throughout the various events, thrilled the ever-present spectators in the grandstands and paddock who were there to witness the success of the championship. The season gets underway again next year with a prologue scheduled for Donington from 17 th to 18th March 2020.