Twenty-three drivers will get behind the wheel of the Ferrari 488 Challenge for two adrenalin-filled races around the gruelling 23-turn Marina Bay Street Circuit. A support race of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, this weekend will be the sixth round of the 2019 season. Now into its fifth year in Singapore, the drivers will have a free practice session tomorrow (Friday 20th September), a qualifying session on Saturday before battling in two races on Saturday and Sunday.
The Standings. In the Trofeo Pirelli AM category, Italian Philippe Prette of Blackbird Concessionaires HK is firmly on top of the eight-man standings on 183 points, ahead of the Japanese duo of M Auto Hiroshima’s Go Max (144 points) and Rosso Scuderia’s Nobuhiro Imada (71 points). Prette’s wealth of experience in the Ferrari Challenge, which stretched back to his debut in 2005, has seen him compete in 149 races over 11 seasons. He hoisted the Trofeo Pirelli AM title aloft in the 2012, 2014 and 2017 seasons and is on course for a fourth title as the only driver in the category to pick up points from every race this season.
It is bumper to bumper in the Coppa Shell category as just six points separate the top three drivers. China’s Xing Yanbin, representing CTF Beijing, leads the 11-man standings with 136 points. But Japan’s Makoto Fujiwara (Cornes Shiba) is close behind on 132 points while Hong Kong’s Michael Choi (Blackbird Concessionaires HK) is on 130 points. A good result, or a bad spin, on this twisty 5.065km river of tarmac could have a telling effect on the table. Coming into Singapore, Fujiwara is the man in form as he dominated the previous race at the Fuji International Speedway, taking pole and chequered flag in both Race 1 and Race 2. But Xing is expected to deliver a strong performance too as he finished second in both races to sit on top of the perch for the moment.
Andrew Moon may only have 25 Ferrari Challenge races under his belt over three campaigns but the racer from Forza Motor Korea has no problems topping the Coppa Shell AM standings with ease. This is the most keenly contested group with 20 drivers in total but Moon’s whopping tally of 170 points have sent him orbiting clear of China’s Min Xiao (CTF Beijing, 99 points) and Chinese Taipei’s Kent Chen (Modena Motori Taiwan, 93 points). It is also notable that Moon arrived in Singapore brimming with confidence after winning both races in Fuji.
Schedule. The drivers will participate in tomorrow’s 30-minute free practice session at 2.25pm. Qualifying, which will take place under the floodlights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, starts at 7.15pm. On Saturday, Race 1 will begin at 3.40pm with the podium ceremony at 4.30pm. And on Sunday, Race 2 starts at 3.50pm with the winning drivers spraying champagne at 4.40pm.