Spielberg, 5 May 2019 – The cancellation of the second Trofeo Pirelli race of the weekend marked the first time in Ferrari Challenge history that a race has been called off due to bad weather. The snow, which had covered the hills surrounding the Spielberg track overnight, continued to fall abundantly after this morning’s two qualifying sessions. The first race on the programme, the Coppa Shell, was halted with the appearance of the red flag due to the snow five minutes before the end. The snowfall showed no sign of easing off between the close of the Coppa Shell race and the start of the Trofeo Pirelli. So thirty minutes before it was due to start, in agreement with the team managers, the stewards cancelled the race due to weather conditions that prevented its normal conduct.
Trofeo Pirelli. Louis Prette (Formula Racing) was the fastest driver during the morning qualifying session in very snowy conditions. He also earned an extra point for pole position.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. Jack Brown (Graypaul Nottingham) was the quickest in qualifying and, thanks to the point gained with pole position, further extended his lead in the standings over Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa).
Coppa Shell. After a start behind the Safety Car to allow the drivers to adjust to the track conditions and somehow warm up the tyres with temperatures close to zero, Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) spent lap 1 on the attack, first passing Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) and then Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing). The two, who had lit up Race-1, continued their duel on a track made increasingly treacherous by the snow. In consequence, the race officials brought on the Safety Car with 13 minutes out of the 30 still to go. The heavy snowfall showed no sign of easing and five minutes before the chequered flag, the red flag appeared and froze the rankings. Home driver Ernst Kirchmayr thus secured his second victory of the season after Race-2 in Valencia. 2018 Coppa Shell Am champion Murat Cuhadaroglu came second, for his first podium in the new category, with Canadian Eric Cheung in third. Tani Hanna (Formula Racing), who was the fastest in qualifying this morning, finished sixth, unable to fight back from the fifth row to where he had been relegated by the Grid Handicap.
Coppa Shell Am. Henrik Jansen (Formula Racing) secured his third win of the season in a race that saw him on the tail of the Coppa Shell drivers before the red flag halted proceedings. Starting from pole, the Dane easily controlled his 488 Challenge and never had to worry about his class rivals. Second place went to Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen), followed by Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing) in third. After a splendid Race-1 win, Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa) finished ninth, slowed by a spin on lap six, thus allowing Jansen and De Meeus back into the fight for first place in the class.
Rankings and upcoming events. In the Trofeo Pirelli: Niccolò Schirò (73), Louis Prette (70), Sam Smeeth (64); in the Trofeo Pirelli AM: Jack Brown (91), Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (77), Jan Danis (31); in the Coppa Shell: Tani Hanna (89), Ernst Kirchmayr (75), Eric Cheung (62); in the Coppa Shell AM: Laurent De Meeus (78), Henrik Jansen (76), Agata Smolka (74); Coppa Team: Formula Racing (286), Rossocorsa (242), Baron Motorsport (133).
The next round of the Ferrari Challenge Europa takes place from 12 to 15 June at Le Mans, when the Prancing Horse’s one-make series will be the support race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Spielberg, 5 May 2019 – Louis Prette took pole position for the second race of the weekend, after a hard-fought qualifying session with the lead repeatedly changing hands.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Formula Racing driver secured his third pole of this season’s Trofeo Pirelli, on a wet track, something that had worried the winner of Race-2 in Bahrain on the eve of the race. Again this session the battle between the drivers fighting for the top positions was finely balanced, with the four fastest drivers separated by just half a second. Bjorn Grossmann, 310 thousandths behind the poleman, finished ahead of the winner of Race-1, Adam Carroll, and Sam Smeeth. Chris Froggatt and Niccolò Schirò were a little further back so will need to drive an attacking race.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. Jack Brown, yesterday’s winner and new leader in the standings, was again the fastest on the Austrian circuit, stopping the clock at 1:41.590 for his fourth consecutive pole. The Briton finished ahead of the Dane Christian Overgaard, seeking payback after Saturday’s unlucky race, and his compatriot Frederik Espersen, a brilliant second in Race-1.
Spielberg, 5 May 2019 – The second qualifying session of the Austrian weekend took place in unusual conditions, with snow falling over the Spielberg circuit. However, the unseasonal weather didn’t hinder the drivers who lapped the 4,318-metre track on rain tyres.
Coppa Shell. Eric Cheung was fastest in the 30-minute fight for pole, with a time of 1:40.734. Tani Hanna finished just 125 thousandths behind him, with Murat Cuhadaroglu, third, seven-tenths of a second off pole. The duel in qualifying thus mirrored yesterday’s race. Fons Scheltema and Christian Kinch finished in the top five, while Ernst Kirchmayr was sixth, a clear improvement on Saturday.
Coppa Shell Am. Henrik Jansen, seventh overall, was the fastest in the Coppa Shell Am, with a time of 1:42.078. The Danish driver secured his third pole position of the season and second in a row, outpacing Laurent De Meeus by five-tenths of a second, and besting ‘Boris Gideon’, who finished on the podium yesterday. After her victory in Race-1, Agata Smolka closed the session in fifth, behind Giuseppe Ramelli.
Spielberg , 4 May 2019 – 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.
Spielberg, 4 May 2019 – Niccolò Schirò and Jack Brown secured pole positions on Saturday morning in the qualifying session for Race-1 of the Trofeo Pirelli and Trofeo Pirelli Am.
Very tight. In the Trofeo Pirelli, Niccolò Schirò was the fastest in 1:41.366, just 74 thousandths of a second ahead of Bjorn Grossmann. The Rossocorsa driver drove the 488 Challenge masterfully to take his first pole of the season, under tricky track conditions due to the rain that had been falling since early morning. After his splendid return in Valencia, Grossmann confirmed his rapport with the Prancing Horse’s car, which will come in handy in the race as his grid handicap means he will set off from the fifth row. British driver Sam Smeeth and rookie Adam Carroll took third and fourth positions, two-tenths of a second off pole. However, the two will start from the front in Race-1, with Schirò relegated to sixth because of the grid handicap. Louis Prette, currently joint second in the standings with Smeeth, closed the session as seventh fastest overall and fifth in his class.
Trio. Jack Brown closed the session in first place in the Trofeo Pirelli Am and fifth overall, with a time of 1:42.047. The British driver, with his third consecutive pole position, finished just 245 thousandths of a second ahead of Emanuele Maria Tabacchi. The struggle between the pair, as well as in the championship standings, continues on track here in Austria. Martin Nelson clinched third position and eighth overall, with Christian Overgaard as his closest rival on the grid.
Spielberg, 4 May 2019 – Eric Cheung set the fastest time this morning in the Coppa Shell qualifying session held in very wet conditions that made the Austrian track extremely treacherous.
Murat in slipstream. The Formula Racing driver stopped the clock at 1:41.112, earning him his second pole of the season. Murat Cuhadaroglu completes the first row, 432 thousandths of a second behind, with the Turkish driver clocking his best performance on the last lap before the chequered flag. Standings leader, Tani Hanna, was third fastest. The Lebanese driver will have to cope with a grid handicap based on the results of the previous round. After the excellent podium obtained on a soaking Valencia track, Fons Scheltema finished in fourth ahead of Christian Kinch and James Weiland.
Jansen by a whisker. In the Coppa Shell Am, Henric Jansen took pole, just 30 thousandths of a second ahead of ‘Alex Fox’. The Formula Racing driver recorded the fastest lap of 1:42.824, which earned him seventh place overall. Giuseppe Ramelli and Agata Smolka are on the second row of the grid, after the podium held in the previous round at Valencia.
Austrian Alexander Nussbaumer and German ‘Boris Gideon’ start from fifth and sixth on the grid, followed by the leader in the standings Laurent De Meeus.
Spielberg, 3 May 2019 – This weekend the third round of the Ferrari Challenge Europa 2019 takes place at the famous Spielberg track, where Ferrari has written momentous pages in the history of F1 and endurance racing.
The Ferrari Challenge first appeared at Spielberg in 2001, the season in which the Austrian track hosted a race of the then Challenge Italia. In 2003, only two seasons after its debut, the calendar of the Prancing Horse one-make series included a stop in Austria in mid-July, but then in the following seasons the track underwent a series of changes to increase safety and modernise its infrastructure. In 2011 the Ferrari Challenge returned to the calendar, with a weekend that also included the Formula 1 cars of Maranello’s F1 Clienti department. In the Challenge, Stefano Gai, winner of the last edition of the Italian division, and Lorenzo Bontempelli, victor in the Trofeo Pirelli in the Finali Mondiali at Mugello, stole the scene, while Molteni and Di Amato stood out in the Coppa Shell. In the European Series, which since 2012 has included the Italian division, Philipp Baron and Blancardi triumphed in the Trofeo Pirelli, while Prette and Anderson won the Coppa Shell.
After the first two rounds, with the Bahrain night races in February and the return to Europe with Valencia at the beginning of April, the third round sees the divisional rankings nicely poised and some new and highly anticipated competitors joining the fray.
Trofeo Pirelli. A great fight on the track and in the category standings is expected, with Niccolò Schirò (Rossocorsa) leader after his win Sakhir and placings in Valencia. Sam Smeeth and Louis Prette are 10 points behind, with Neubauer just a little further back. Bjorn Grossmann, winner in Valencia and already high in the standings, is making his big return. Eyes will also be on Adam Carroll, a GP2 driver in recent seasons, who is making his debut with the Ferrari 488 Challenge.
Trofeo Pirelli AM Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa) has been the great early season revelation. After dominating the first two races in Sakhir and notching up two second places in Valencia, the Italian tops the ranking nine points clear of Jack Brown, while Jan Danis (Scuderia Praha), winner in race one in Valencia, lies in third.
Coppa Shell. Class leader, the Lebanese Tani Hanna (Formula Racing) arrives at Spielberg 11 points ahead of Kirchmayr, while Christian Kinch is third. People will also be watching out for the returning James Weiland, winner of the Race-1 in Bahrain with a 488 in the colours of Rossocorsa.
Coppa Shell AM: The fans are also anticipating another exciting duel between Laurent De Meeus and Agatha Smolka, eight lengths apart in the Coppa Shell AM standings. Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa/Pellin Racing) is expected to repeat the excellent results recorded in Valencia.
Programme. On Saturday, qualifying for the Coppa Shell kicks off at 9 am, while the Trofeo Pirelli session begins at 9:45 am. In the afternoon, Race 1 of the Coppa Shell gets going at 1:20 pm while the Trofeo Pirelli cars set off at 3:50 pm. The running order is the same on Sunday, with qualifying in the morning and Race-2 in the afternoon.