North American Ferrari Challenge – Perez, Conde and Courtney Sweep With Victories
Sonoma, 26 April – Boisterous excitement and racing activities filled today’s agenda for the final day of the Ferrari Challenge at Sonoma Raceway. The 2.22-mile circuit in Northern California called upon the local Ferraristi this weekend for the Ferrari Challenge’s 10th consecutive return, as well as the vast car corral which featured some of Ferrari’s most renowned classics like the Dino Spider, 250 GTE, 308 GT4 and 250 GTO. Even the Enzo and LaFerrari, Ferrari’s limited supercars, came to the track for lapping sessions.
The real excitement came this afternoon when 31 drivers set themselves on the starting grid for the second round of racing of the weekend. Mexican favorite, Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston), qualified fastest in today’s session, and continued to maintain his ground throughout Race 2. Although the race was held under caution after Turn 1 in the first lap due to an incident, Perez was quick to jump ahead of his contender, Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari Quebec), at the restart. Perez finished in first place, 2.18 seconds ahead of Anassis, with his fastest lap marked at 1:42:328. Wei Lu (Ferrari of Vancouver) finished in third place after battling Anassis throughout the race.
Carlos Conde (Miller Motor Cars) finished first in his Trofeo Pirelli AM class after a steady pace, holding off Mike Zoi (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) and yesterday’s first place finisher, Anthony Imperato (Ferrari of Long Island). Even Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) joined in on the action, keeping his perfect lines and attacks ahead of Steve Johnson (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale). Ultimately, Zoi and Imperato found themselves finishing second and third on the podium steps.
The Coppa Shell drivers mirrored yesterday’s incredible competitive performance, with lead driver changes at nearly every lap. Joe Courtney (Miller Motor Cars) and Jean-Claude Saada (Boardwalk Ferrari) battled for a first place finish, while teammates Al Delattre and Rodney Randall of Miller Motor Cars fought for a third place finish. Ultimately, Courtney would finish first in his class, Saada second, and Randall third.
The next round of the North American Ferrari Challenge takes place in Montreal, Quebec, in conjunction with the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix June 5-7.
Ferrari Challenge North America – Race 1 at Sonoma: wins for Anassis, Imperato and Saada
Sonoma, 25 April – Amidst the crowds and vast excitement for the race weekend, 31 drivers and 458 Challenge EVOs took the main stage at Sonoma Raceway for the third round of the North American Ferrari Challenge. Everyone showcased strong efforts in yesterday’s practice sessions, but today was the true racing spectacle, with more than 140 cars showcased in the Ferrari corral and a brilliant lapping of Ferrari’s most coveted supercars: the LaFerrari and Enzo.
Today’s fastest qualifier and pole sitter, Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari Quebec), led the field from start to finish, attacking each turn of the 2.22-mile road course at full force. He finished the race with a 1.810-second lead ahead of Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston), who charged ahead of three Trofeo Pirelli drivers to finish second on top of the podium steps. The contention for the third place finisher came between Wei Lu (Ferrari of Vancouver) and Damon Ockey (Ferrari of Ontario). Lu, who had the fast lap time of 1.41”949 in today’s race, overtook Ockey at Turn 9 after the downhill straightaway, finishing third overall and for his Trofeo Pirelli class.
The assemblage of drivers in the Trofeo Pirelli AM class truly proved their skill levels as all drivers intermingled with those in the Trofeo Pirelli category throughout the race. Anthony Imperato (Ferrari of Long Island) captured the fans enthusiasm as he maintained his ground from the first to very last lap. He jumped two positions in the race, holding Gregory Romanelli (The Collection) behind and overtaking Ockey and Scott Tucker (Boardwalk Ferrari) to finish in first place in his class. It was a double podium achievement for local team Ferrari of San Francisco, as it saw its two drivers, James Weiland and Ross Garber, bring home their second and third place trophies respectively.
The battles were just as fierce in the Coppa Shell category as Jean-Claude Saada (Boardwalk Ferrari) and Joe Courtney (Miller Motorcars) caused much excitement for the already exuberant crowds. Both drivers continuously overtook one another throughout the race, performing a ballet of racing endeavors. And not only did the challenge remain with them, but Dan O’Neal (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) and Chris Cagnazzi (Ferrari of Long Island) also fought for a place on the podium. Ultimately, Saada finished at the top of the podium steps, Courtney in second place, and Cagnazzi in third.
The racing action continues tomorrow with a warm-up session at 9:00 AM PST (18 CET), qualifying at 11:00 AM PST (20 CET) and Race-2 at 2:05 PM PST (23.05 CET).
Ferrari Challenge North America – A Decade Of Racing At Sonoma
Sonoma, 24 April – The Ferrari Challenge North America makes its tenth consecutive return to Sonoma Raceway, located in the heart of California’s Wine Country set amongst the regions rolling hills and vast array of Napa’s vineyards. This highly-anticipated event, a long-standing highlight for Ferrari fans and clients, promises to deliver a weekend full of beautiful cars, exciting racing and entertainment.
Over 30 cars.
This weekend marks the third round of racing this season, with 31 458 drivers and Challenge EVOs representing the United States, Canada and Mexico, entered for the Trofeo Pirelli, Trofeo Pirelli AM and Coppa Shell classes. After standing on top of the podium in Daytona and Homestead-Miami, Canadian Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari of Quebec) currently leads the championship, 27 points ahead of John Farano (Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale), Scott Tucker (Boardwalk Ferrari), Gregory Romanelli (The Collection) and Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston), who all stand within five points of one another in the Trofeo Pirelli class. A tight contention remains also for the drivers in Trofeo Pirelli AM. Arthur Romanelli (The Collection), Carlos Conde (Miller Motor Cars) and Robert Herjavec (Ferrari of Ontario) stand within three points, only enticing the racing action to come in Sonoma. As for the drivers in Coppa Shell, Dan O’Neal (Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale) moved to the top of his class after finishing twice on the podium in Homestead-Miami.
The weekend will not only play host to two Ferrari Challenge adrenaline-packed races, there is plenty of fun to be had both on and off the track as the paddock will offer family-friendly entertainment through the weekend. The Ferrari Challenge FanZone will feature music, Ferrari pedal-car races for children, gourmet food trucks and the official Ferrari merchandising tent. Ferraristi will also have the chance to gather and admire examples of some of the most exquisite classic cars, including the 250 GTE, 308 GT4, 365 GTB/4, Daytona, Dino Spider, as well as the latest models in the production line. Ferrari’s most coveted supercars including the Enzo and LaFerrari will also be on track.
Practice sessions will encompass today’s track activity. The first race of the weekend will go green at 2:45 PM PST (11.45 PM CET) on Saturday, with the second race held at 2:20 PM PST (11.20 PM CET) on Sunday. General admission tickets may be purchased for $20 each day or $40 for the whole weekend. Passes are available for purchase on site at the track.