The North American series of Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is readying to welcome the XX Programme, F1 Clienti and Club Competizioni GT for the annual Ferrari Racing Days event, held this year at Road Atlanta. Over 100 Ferraris will take to the circuit over the course of the weekend, either as part of the Ferrari Challenge competition, or during lapping sessions dedicated to F1 Clienti and XX Programmes. This will also mark the second round of the 2020 season of Ferrari Challenge in North America and the on-track debut of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo. Over fifty drivers will fill out the grid as they challenge each other for the 2020 championship.
On-Track debut of 488 Challenge Evo
Round two of the 2020 season will mark the on-track debut of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, an honor shared with the Asia Pacific leg of the series who will run simultaneously in Bahrain. The 488 Challenge Evo made its international debut at the 2019 edition of the Finali Mondiali and features significant enhancements to the aerodynamics, tire and electronic controls. Specifically, a re-profiled front bumper both generates additional downforce and also allows drivers to adjust the level of downforce desired based on the circuit. Also, improved E-Diff3 and F1-TCS control systems have been uprated to compliment the new levels of performance. And lastly, improved tires from Pirelli will offer more consistent performance from the start of a session to the end, in addition to an overall improvement in grip. All of this travels to the drivers through a revised steering wheel that takes its layout from the Ferrari 488 GT3.
After using the 488 Challenge at the previous round in Daytona, all drivers competing at Road Atlanta will make use of the updated Evo package. Undoubtedly drivers are eagerly anticipating their first on-track session in Atlanta on Wednesday as part of a pre-weekend test day.
XX Programme and F1 Clienti
As part of the Ferrari Racing Days, Ferrari Challenge will be joined by XX Programme and F1 Clienti clients and their magnificent machines. Five historic F1 machines, previously driven by Formula 1 greats such as Massa, Alonso, Barrichello and Schumacher will take to the track. All are from the screaming V8 era with the earliest from Ferrari’s championship winning 2003 season and the most recent from 2011.
When these cars last ran at Road Atlanta in 2018, Marc Gene took to the circuit in an F2004, previously driven by Michael Schumacher and set an all-time lap record at the circuit, a 1:01.2.
In addition to the F1 Clienti, XX Programme drivers will take to the track in dedicated, track-only machines. Based on some of Ferrari’s best known road-cars, such as the Ferrari Enzo and LaFerrari, these track-only variants allow clients the opportunity to provide their feedback directly to Ferrari engineers, and enjoy the drama and thrill of over 1000 hp without limitation and without mufflers. Over 20 of these cars will take to the track during dedicated XX Programme sessions through the weekend.
Drivers Still on High from Daytona Night Races
Drivers are still reveling from the first ever night race for Ferrari Challenge competitors in North America when 38 drivers took to the high banks of Daytona in the opening round of the 2020 season. It was a challenging pair of races that had distinctly different characteristics. The first, run on Thursday, was marred by an extended caution period to retrieve a few cars after various incidents occurred throughout the field. Despite the interruption, John Megrue’s star shown the brightest, winning the Trofeo Pirelli AM category and finishing just a hair behind Cooper MacNeil for the overall win. Race 2, run on Friday evening, saw much cleaner competition and a caution-free race.
Over the two races, Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari of Westlake), John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island) and Justin Wetherill (Ferrari of Central Florida) all took the top step of the podium in both races in the Trofeo Pirelli, Trofeo Pirelli AM and Coppa Shell AM categories respectively. In the Coppa Shell category, Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) took the win in race 1, but sputtered just before the end in race 2, sending him down the order and allowing Rich Baek (Ron Tonkin) to take the win.
Ferrari Racing Days will once again be available to view online for those who cannot join in person. The live stream will be available at live.ferrari.com, opening with Ferrari Challenge Qualifying at 8:00 AM (all times in ET) on both Saturday and Sunday, and will show all Ferrari Challenge, XX Programme and F1 Clienti sessions throughout the day.