Daytona, 2 December 2016 – First day of competition for the Ferrari Challenge at the Finali Mondiali held in Daytona, with two titles awarded, the Trofeo Pirelli North America and the Trofeo Pirelli Asia-Pacific. Carlos Kauffmann (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale) and Florian Merckx (Baron Service) are the new continental champions.
Trofeo Pirelli North America. The view of over forty cars at the start was great, with two of the hosts in command of operations. Carlos Kauffmann took the lead over Cooper MacNeil and his Ferrari of Beverly Hills teammate, Martin Fuentes. The Venezuelan driver won the title and the race ahead of MacNeil and Rusty Wallace, the guest star of this year’s Finali Mondiali at his first race on a Prancing Horse car.
Trofeo Pirelli APAC. Another title was mathematically awarded in this first day of the Finali Mondiali: that of the APAC series that went to Florian Merckx, driver of the Baron Service team. The Belgian driver led the race from the start, managing to precede Steve Wyatt and the biggest rival for the title, the Indonesian Renaldi Hutasoit. For Merckx, this is the fifth consecutive win after the two victories in Singapore and Fuji. For him it is a well-deserved title, achieved after an overwhelming second part of the championship.
Trofeo Pirelli Europe. The European series of the Trofeo Pirelli saw a very heated duel inside the Rossocorsa team. An extraordinary Philipp Baron won the race, overtaking, after finishing off the track in a first attempt, Marcello Puglisi, who seemed destined, after the victory at Le Mans, to also add Daytona to his palmares. The duel for the third place was also great, and was won, right at the finish line, by champion Bjiorn Grossmann (Octane 126). The German was able to catch up the larger number of positions lost due to bad qualifying and get in front of Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) just when the latter seemed to have reached a third place.
Pirelli Am North America. During the Trofeo Pirelli Am North America we have seen the overtake of James Weiland, which ruled the roost by beating the rival Steve Johnson and stepping ahead of him on the scoreboard. Once again, the third place was awarded during the last lap, and went to Joel Weinberger (Continental Autosport) who slipped in front of Arthur Romanelli (The Collection).
Pirelli Am APAC. In the Ferrari Challenge APAC, Huilin Han emerged at the wheel of the 458 Challenge EVO (part of the CTF Beijing Team), reopening competition in the championship that will be won either by him, his compatriot Xin Jin (Prestige Harbin) or the veteran Eric Cheung (Auto Italia Hong Kong), now in his 114th race on the 458 Challenge EVO where he arrived third, after going off track early in the race.
Pirelli Am Europe. The European series showed us the ninth victory of Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari), author of a truly perfect season. The British driver rushed ahead of the Swede Henrik Hedman (Scuderia Autoropa) and John Farano, who was great overtaking his teammate in the Rossocorsa team, Tommaso Rocca, in the closing laps. Tomorrow at 12:35 the second and final championship races, before Sunday’s World Final race.