Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific Series first round Race 1 opened at the Formula One Australian Grand Prix under clear blue skies with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius. After a clean start, the race saw some fierce battles with a few contacts that led to the intervention of the safety car early on in the race.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. All 21 drivers on the grid found the practice sessions on Thursday to be extremely important in helping them understand the street circuit with its fast and flowing course combined with extensive runoff in many corners. Although the track is not easy for overtaking, this didn’t stop Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (Cornes Osaka) from passing pole sitter Philippe Prette (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) and James Weiland (Ferrari of Cincinnati) at the start despite being from the Shell class. An incident in the middle of the pack with car 113 of Makoto Fujiwara (Cornes Tokyo) at Turn 3 brought out the safety car during lap 2 which tightened up the field. The race restarted after lap 5 and Weiland pushed hard to overtake Yamaguchi for the lead. However, he was unlucky when he had to retire off the track and could not finish the race. Go Max (M Auto Hiroshima) and Prette fought hard for the win during the remaining 5 laps but a contact between them resulted in Prette dropping three positions. Max triumphed in the end and Hector Lester (Zagame Melbourne) took the second spot. Prette managed to recover and came in third.
Coppa Shell. It was a fantastic race by Yamaguchi as he was unstoppable. There was a fierce battle between him and Weiland after the race restarted but the Japanese driver managed to keep his lead after Weiland ran into problems. Thereafter he lead the field and maintained his position right till the end. He was also the overall winner of the race. In second and third positions were David Pun and Michael Choi respective, both representing Blackbird Concessionaires HK.
Coppa Shell AM. Coppa Shell AM class had Kent Chen (Modena Motori Taiwan) as the first place finisher, followed by Baby Kei (Cornes Osaka). In third place was Min Xiao (CTF Beijing) from China. It was a comfortable win for Chen, who had a five second lead over his nearest rival Kei, while Kei faced fierce pressure from Xiao who was only two seconds behind. YanSheng Liang (CTF Beijing) was the winner of the Gentlemen Cup while Kanthicha Chimsiri (Cavallino Motors Bangkok) took the Ladies’ Cup.
Schedule. Track action for Race 2 of the Ferrari Challenge weekend at Albert Park continues tomorrow at 10.35AM local time.