Cloudy skies with the threat of rain greeted the 21 drivers as they took to the track for Race 1 of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific Round 4. Fortunately rain didn’t show up and the race took place under dry track conditions. This was the very first race at Twin Ring Motegi Circuit in Japan for the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific series and drivers had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the track over 2 days.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. In the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, pole-sitter Nobuhiro Imada (Rosso Scuderia) took the lead from start to finish clinching his first win of 2019. The Japanese drove a flawless race and finished a convincing 8.121 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. The closest battle in class was between Go Max (M Auto Hiroshima) and Philippe Prette (Blackbird Concessionaires HK). Prette started second on the grid but Max managed to overtake him in the early stages of the race. However, Prette kept his cool and stayed very close to his Japanese opponent throughout. He fought back valiantly and managed to overtake Max in lap 9. Prette ended the race just 2.4 seconds ahead of Max who finished third.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell race was very hard-fought with lots of thrills and excitement. It saw many twists and turns before it concluded with Makoto Fujiwara (Cornes Shiba) taking the win. Fujiwara started from fifth row on the grid and surged back into the podium positions in the very early stages by gaining three places. Michael Choi (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) lead the pack from the start while the battle for 2nd and 3rd positions were raging. Fujiwara was first chasing Yanbin Xing (CTF Beijing) and managed to overtake him halfway through the race. Then, in the last lap, he found a further extra gear to surge ahead and overtake Choi for the lead, beating him by just 0.9 seconds, whilst Xing ultimately took the third and final spot on the podium.
Coppa Shell AM. Kenneth Lau (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) won the Coppa Shell AM category and finished eleventh overall. This was his maiden win in this category, finishing a close 1.457 seconds ahead of Kent Chen (Modena Motori Taiwan), who crossed the line in 2nd place followed by Baby Kei (Cornes Osaka). Yansheng Liang of CTF Beijing was the winner of the Gentlemen Cup for being the best finishing driver over 55 while Kanthicha Chimsiri (Cavallino Motors Bangkok) took the Ladies’ Cup.