The Asia Pacific region of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli championship got under way. With only the Coppa Shell category still up for debate, many drivers took the opportunity to enjoy fierce competition at the Mugello circuit without worry about overall point scores. In Coppa Shell, however, the fight was fierce and the results ensure that the battle will carry on to the final round tomorrow. While the competition was fierce, some late race drama put an early end to the proceedings as a Safety Car was required.
Go Max (M Auto Hiroshima) took the win in race 1 after a mega start saw him jump multiple positions and go four-wide into Mugello’s first corner. Race control reviewed the start, but determined that Go Max had simply timed things perfectly and kept the lead. Philippe Prette (Blackbird Concessionaires) was the unfortunate loser of the first corner drama, falling back to fourth overall. However, in just seven minutes, he had returned to second position and appeared to be chasing down the leader. But, Go Max was able to respond and maintained a gap of several seconds before a late Safety Car grouped the whole field. The accident took too long to clean, so that is how the race ended. Third position for Nobuhiro Imada (Rosso Scuderia).
Makoto Fujiwara (Cornes Shiba) took the win in the Coppa Shell category, and impressively finished third overall. He beat out Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (Cornes Osaka) and Yanbin Xing (CTF Beijing) who finished second and third respectively. It was a critical result as it means that he closes what was just a five point gap to the leader in the championship, Kazuyuki, to nothing. Its all to play for in the final race tomorrow.
By far the greatest excitement took place in the Coppa Shell Am category as Andrew Moon (Forza Motor Korea) and Kent Chen (Modena Motori Taiwan) fought all race long. An unfortunate incident in the final few minutes, however, brought out the Safety Car, ending the battle. Kent Chen ended up with the race 1 win over Andrew Moon while further back Atsushi Iritani (Cornes Osaka) took the third and final spot on the podium.