Race-1 of the third round of the Ferrari Challenge took place on Saturday at the Spielberg circuit in Austria. The winners of the 30-minute Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell races were rookie Adam Carroll, Jack Brown, Tani Hanna and Agata Smolka.
Trofeo Pirelli. Adam Carroll enjoyed a winning debut in the Trofeo Pirelli after a race full of events that could have significant repercussions on the fight for the title. The Ferrari Budapest driver used his experience in single-seaters to win after a fantastic duel with his compatriot Sam Smeeth (Baron Motorsport) who started from pole position due to the Grid Handicap applied to Schirò and Grossmann. After taking the lead, Carroll successfully defended his position even after the two appearances of the Safety Car. The first was during the opening lap, following a spectacular but thankfully harmless accident for the driver Maximilian Mayer, while the second was in the final stages of the race, after a collision between Tabacchi and Nelson. Carroll crossed the line ahead of a convincing Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) who, starting from the fifth row, bagged some crucial championship points. With third place and the fastest lap, Louis Prette (Formula Racing) soared up the standings on the tail of Niccolò Schirò (Rossocorsa), who had to slow down in the final stages missing out on a possible podium.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. Jack Brown (Ferrari UK – Graypaul Nottingham) enjoyed a second consecutive triumph, which courtesy of the retirement of Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa) has given him the lead in the Trofeo Pirelli Am standings. The Briton drove a flawless race, in front from the first to the last lap and finishing ahead of the young Dane Frederik Espersen (Forza Racing) who took advantage of the accident that knocked out Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) and the blameless Tabacchi. Espersen managed the race with great maturity especially in the final stages when the drivers had to navigate a wet track with slicks. The German Oliver Plassmann (Autohaus Ulrich) took the third step of the podium, beating the Slovak Matúš Vyboh (Scuderia Praha) by just 5 tenths of a second.
Coppa Shell. Starting in the rain and ending on a mostly dry track, the Coppa Shell race saw many twists and turns before it concluded with Tani Hanna (Formula Racing) pulling away in the standings after a tough race for his title rival. The Austrian Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) only managed an eighth-place finish. Hanna, who started from the fourth row of the grid, surged back into the podium positions in the very early stages while Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) and Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) were battling for first at the head of the pack. After taking the lead, the Turk had to retire (officially finishing four laps behind the winner) following a contact with Cheung, penalised by the race officials with a drive-through. Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), who had been just behind the leading trio, and the Swede Christian Kinch (Gohm Motorsport) took advantage of this episode to finish on the podium.
Coppa Shell Am. Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa) now tops the Coppa Shell Am standings after an impressive win, her second of the season, The Polish driver, third overall, managed the race flawlessly, ahead of Austrian Alexander Nussbaumer (Scuderia Gohm) and German “Boris Gideon” (Formula Racing), setting the fastest lap in 1:40.900. Laurent De Meeus (Ferrari UK – HR Owen), the leader in the standings before Spielberg, crossed the line in seventh.
Programme. Sunday’s programme kicks off with the Coppa Shell qualifying session at 9 am, followed by Trofeo Pirelli qualifying at 9.45 am. Race-2 of the Coppa Shell sets off at 1.20 pm, with the Coppa Shell following at 3.50 pm.