The North American season of Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli completed its fifth round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with fabulous displays of on-track competition and off track camaraderie.
Trofeo Pirelli. Benjamin Hites (The Collection) completed a critical weekend sweep, winning both races and thus closing the gap to his primary championship rival, and second place finisher in race 2, Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Westlake). The Chilean driver qualified second, but muscled past the American in the opening sequence of bends and drove away over the subsequent 30 minutes of racing. Ultimately, Ben finished 8.1 seconds ahead of Cooper, an impressive margin considering how tightly contested their season has been thus far. Once in second, however, Cooper had no challenge from behind as Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale) finished a further ten seconds behind the leading duo. Martin’s race was also far more consuming as he had Joel Weinberger (Continental Autosports) for company, though the Chicago based driver could not find a way past the Canadian.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Neil Gehani (Continental Autosports) repeated his success of Saturday, earning another win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Neil held off a resurgent Danny Baker (Ferrari of Palm Beach) who put in an excellent performance to finish second, only two seconds behind Neil. The two were both able to slip by pole-sitter Mark Fuller (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Silicon Valley), but the Gentleman’s Cup winner did manage to hang on to third, only seven tenths of a second behind Danny Baker. The leading trio ended up finishing within just three seconds of each other, indicating just how hard fought the race had been.
Coppa Shell. Mark Issa (Ferrari of Atlanta) converted his pole position into a dominant race 2 victory. After a sterling drive in Saturday’s race to climb from 11th at the start to 2nd at the finish, Sunday’s race offered far less drama for the exuberant driver as he crossed the line with four seconds to spare over Dale Katechis (Miller Motorcars) who was a further second ahead of Brian Davis (Ferrari of Palm Beach). The trio also represent the top three positions in the Coppa Shell championship standings, though Mark’s strong performances will have only furthered his cause to take the Coppa Shell championship in his first ever Ferrari Challenge season.
Coppa Shell AM. Brad Horstmann (Foreign Cars Italia) made it a perfect weekend, winning once again in his Ferrari 488 Challenge car. Brad was able to navigate a very racy start and put himself in the midst of the Coppa Shell category, finishing 6th overall. This also meant that he always had a car or two between himself and Bill Kemp (Ferrari of Palm Beach) who went on to finish second, but six seconds behind Brad. Mark Davies (Wide World Ferrari) finished a further four seconds behind Bill to finish third. Jay Schriebman’s (Cauley Ferrari) championship aspirations took a serious blow, however, when he made contact during the race and subsequently retired. Eileen Bildman (Ferrari of Long Island) also made a podium appearance as the Ladies Cup winner. Eileen had her best finish of the season, a 9th place in class.
Schedule. The North American series of Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will continue at Homestead-Miami Speedway on September 6-8. Qualifying and racing action will again be live-streamed at live.ferrari.com.