Montmelò, 16 September 2018 – Manuela Gostner became only the second woman to win a Ferrari Challenge Europe race, with victory today in Race-2 of the Coppa Shell. Murat Cuhadaroglu, Chris Froggatt and Nicklas Nielsen also won, with the latter sealing the 2018 Trofeo Pirelli title with a round to go.
Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell, polewoman Manuela Gostner, set off best and settled into the lead pursued by her Ineco-MP Racing teammate, Erich Prinoth, and Race-1 winner, Christophe Hurni. The Italian quickly established a solid lead over Prinoth who was caught up in a duel with the Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne driver, who passed him on lap 5. The battle for third was hard fought with Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) passing Rick Lovat (Octane 126) to move into fourth and then overtaking Prinoth for third. Shortly after, Lovat also passed Prinoth, then forced to retire, and a mistake by Scheltema handed the Canadian driver third place on a silver platter. Manuela Gostner thus became the second woman to win a Ferrari Challenge race after Fabienne Wohlwend, victor in Race-2 at Imola in 2017 and then three times this season. Hurni’s second place is particularly valuable because it gives him the lead in the standings thanks to the withdrawal of Eric Cheung after a mechanical issue affected the 488 Challenge of Formula Racing.
Shell Am. Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing) failed to repeat his win in Race-1 of the Coppa Shell Am against championship leader Murat Cuhadaroglu who fought tooth and claw to hold his position. Kessel Racing’s Turkish driver ceded first place at the start but immediately recovered to triumph ahead of Nussbaumer and Dusan Palcr (Scuderia Praha). Ingvar Mattsson finished in fourth, a long way behind his two rivals with only the Finali Mondiali at Monza, from 1 to 4 November, to go before the end of the season.
Trofeo Pirelli. In the Trofeo Pirelli, championship leader Nicklas Nielsen needed to finish ahead of Bjorn Grossmann to wrap up the title ahead of schedule, which the Formula Racing driver did easily enough, beating his Octane 126 rival. The race itself was overshadowed by two accidents that obliged the race officials to bring on the Safety Car twice. Third place went to Jens Liebhauser who beat Sean Hudspeth in a final sprint.
Pirelli Am. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, poleman Jack Brown was quickly knocked out of the running by an accident involving Formula Racing drivers Sean Hudspeth and Jens Liebhauser. This left the way open for the 2018 champion Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) to notch up his eighth win of the season ahead of Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) and Tommaso Rocca.
Montmelò, 15 September 2018 – Ferrari 488 Challenge drivers Nicklas Nielsen, Chris Froggatt, Christophe Hurni and Alexander Nussbaumer won the first races of the Barcelona round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe 2018. Froggatt also sealed the Trofeo Pirelli Am title, the first to be decided this season.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell race opened the day with Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) warding off the attack of a rampant Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) to hold onto the top spot he gained in qualifying. Fons Scheltema was third in the 488 Challenge of Kessel Racing. Further back, Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) embarked on an ordeal that saw him lose positions and valuable points. Hurni sealed his third career win in the Ferrari Challenge Europe ahead of Manuela Gostner, who recorded her third second place finish. Behind Scheltema came championship leader Eric Cheung (Formula Racing), who still tops the standings albeit less than 10 points ahead of Hurni.
Shell Am. Alexander Nussbaumer pulled off a perfect race in the Coppa Shell Am: starting from second, the Formula Racing driver passed poleman Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) and went on to win. However, the Turk has reason to celebrate as he now leads the championship standings courtesy of the retirement of Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa). Only 2.5 points separate Murat and Nussbaumer, now his closest rival. Third place went to Dusan Palcr in the 488 Challenge of Scuderia Praha, who did well to overhaul Malaysia’s David Lim (Formula Racing), who nevertheless achieved his career’s best result.
Trofeo Pirelli. The afternoon saw the Trofeo Pirelli race in which Danish driver Nicklas Nielsen (Formula Racing) held onto first position at the start ahead of Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). Behind them though all hell broke loose with rookie Oliver Grotz losing control of the 488 Challenge of Formula Racing and smashing into teammate Sean Hudspeth and John Sawbridge (Ferrari GB – HR Owen), both forced to retire. Nielsen won ahead of Grossman in second, while third place went to Jens Liebhauser (Formula Racing) followed by Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. In addition to Hudspeth, Grotz’s mistake at the start also knocked out John Sawbridge who waved goodbye to his run of consecutive finishes in the points. All this made it even easier for championship leader Chris Froggatt, whose only challenger was Jack Brown (Ferrari GB – Graypaul Nottingham). Third place went to Danish driver Claus Zibrandsen (Formula Racing) while a seventh win gave Froggatt, the season’s dominator, mathematical certainty of the title also courtesy of a crash that involved Scuderia Autoropa’s Martin Nelson and Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126). The race ended behind the Safety Car.
On Sunday, the races will set off again at 12.50 pm (Coppa Shell) and 3.35 pm (Trofeo Pirelli).
Barcelona, 14 September 2018 – The Ferrari Challenge Europe is gearing up for its sixth round at the Catalunya-Barcelona Circuit in Montmelò. The fight for the title is still open in all categories although some could be decided over the weekend.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am is the most likely to be wrapped up in Barcelona. Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) has dominated the season, with only the young Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) still in with a chance. However, her British rival just needs a handful of points to seal the deal on the penultimate round. This class also sees the return of Christoforou Pantelis (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) and the debut of Germano Salernitano (Gohm Motorsport).
Trofeo Pirelli. The other standings are much more fluid, although Formula Racing driver, Nicklas Nielsen, holds a comfortable 38-point lead over Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) in the Trofeo Pirelli. In Barcelona, we expect good results from Singapore’s debutant Sean Hudspeth, but also Jens Liebhauser and Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) can do well.
Coppa Shell. A really interesting three-way fight is taking shape in the Coppa Shell. Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) tops the standings with three wins in the last five races but he has not yet shaken off his two fiercest rivals, Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) and Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) who lag respectively 20.5 and 21 points behind.
Coppa Shell Am. The tightest fight is in the Coppa Shell Am where Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa) and Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) are separated by just one point, with Alexander Nussbaumer of Formula Racing in hot pursuit, just 6.5 points behind. Indeed, the Austrian is currently the in-form driver with three victories in the last six races.
Programme. After Friday’s free practices qualifying will be held on Saturday (9 am and 11:30 am) followed the first two races of the weekend. The Coppa Shell gets underway at 12:50 pm while the Trofeo Pirelli starts at 3:35 pm. The same programme is repeated on Sunday.