The North American circuit of Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli continued its 2019 season with the most anticipated stop of the year, at the Grand Prix du Canada.
Running in support of the Scuderia, thirty three Ferrari Challenge pilots negotiated the tight confines and unforgiving barriers of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, located minutes from downtown Montreal. Due to the tight timelines required for the weekend, Ferrari Challenge merged its two qualifying sessions into one, with drivers’ fastest laps setting the grid for race 1 and their second fastest laps setting the grid for race 2.
Trofeo Pirelli. Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa, Ferrari of Westlake) took pole position for race 1 and race 2, setting fastest and second fastest lap. For race 1, that meant starting ahead of Thomas Tippl (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) and James Weiland (Ferrari of San Francisco). While Cooper was well clear with a fastest lap half of a second better than Thomas could manage, the battle for third through fifth was quite tight. James Weiland finished only two tenths off and Benjamin Hites (The Collection) was just under two one-hundredths of a second off. When it was time to set second fastest laps, Benjamin was able to close the gap to Cooper considerably, ending up just under three tenths of a second slower than the American driver. James Weiland completed the top three, a further three tenths down and it was Thomas Tippl’s turn to just miss the top three, just four one-hundredths off of the pace of the top three.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Barry Zekelman (Ferrari of Ontario) took pole position honors for race 1 at Montreal, beating out Neil Gehani (Continental Autosports and Brent Holden (Ferrari of Newport Beach). The Canadian driver took pole for race 1 by nearly two tenths of a second based on his fastest lap time and he repeated the trick for his second fastest lap, setting another time good for pole position in race 2 as well. Brent Holden jumped Neil Gehani for second, but only by less than one tenth of a second setting up a fascinating duel for the upcoming races.
Coppa Shell. Mark Issa (Ferrari of Atlanta) took pole position for both races in his Ferrari 488 Challenge car, beating out Brian Davis (Ferrari of Palm Beach) by just under two tenths of a second. The two were in a class of their own within the Coppa Shell category, beating out third place runner Dale Katechis (Miller Motorcars) by almost a full second in their fastest laps, setting the grid for race 1. Based on the group’s second fastest laps, however, Dale Katechis was able to reign in and overtake Brian Davis, earning the second spot for the Sunday finale. The two were only one one-hundredth of a second apart, and were again well separated from the rest of the Coppa Shell category.
Coppa Shell AM. Jay Schreibman (Cauley Ferrari) claimed pole on the basis that his fastest lap was two tenths of a second clear from the best that Eric Marston (Scuderia Corsa, Ferrari of Westlake) could manage. The two were a further three tenths up the road from the best that Bradley Horstmann (Foreign Cars Italia) could accomplish, and so he will start third in race 1. Jay was also able to demonstrate his consistency, earning pole position for race 2 based on his second fastest lap in the session. Brad Horstmann will start ahead of Eric Marston, where the margin between second and third was again split by the slimmest of margins, seven one-hundredths of a second.
Schedule. Ferrari Challenge will take to the track for race 1 at 3:30pm (all times in ET) and will return to the circuit for race 2 action on Sunday at 11:15am.