Sochi, 31 July 2016 – The first Ferrari Racing Days event in Russia was completed today with a record of spectators. Over 20,000 turned out between Saturday and Sunday, confirming the passion of Russian people for motorsport and the world related to the Prancing Horse.
The Scuderia show. On Sunday Scuderia Ferrari did the lion’s share with Andrea Bertolini, long-time tester of official and customer cars. Andrea, who has now tested almost 400 cars, excited the public in the grandstands. He shot out from the starting grid in a spectacular simulation of the start of a Grand Prix, and then performed thrilling burn-outs and accelerations before stopping on the main straight where Maranello’s mechanics carried out some fast pit stops. To finish in style, after a half-hour adrenaline rush, the Italian driver executed a spectacular series of wheelspin that brought the public thronging the main straight to their feet.
Extraordinary power. The FXX K, the latest car built for the exclusive customer of XX Programmes, was one of the highlights of the final day. It is a car of extraordinary power, with more than 1000 hp, which uses the latest technologies developed in the sophisticated world of Formula 1, where nothing is left to chance. The FXX K, unveiled at the Finali Mondiali of Abu Dhabi in 2014, is equipped with a hybrid system that recovers the kinetic energy generated during braking and reuses it by adding it to the power of the 6-litre V12 thermal combustion engine. Along with the FXX K the fans in the stands could also admire an FXX, the progenitor car of this type of activity, and many 599XXs, equipped with a sophisticated ground effect system.
The sound of Formula 1. In addition to Bertolini’s car, the public were also thrilled by the F1 Clienti sessions, with cars that belonged to Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso who drove it on track. It was amazing during the first session to see the wonder in the eyes of the Russian fans who have only ever heard the sound of the current turbo-hybrid cars at their own Formula 1 Grand Prix. The scream, sharp and powerful at the same time, of the eight and ten-cylinder naturally aspirated engines, made more than a few jump out of their seats…
Motorsport and dream cars. Race lovers too were not disappointed at Sochi. The drivers of the Ferrari Challenge Europe provided thrilling overtakes and duels in the fourth round of the series, with victories for Bjorn Grossmann, Sam Smeeth and Thomas Loefflad. As always at Ferrari Racing Days, many cars of the Prancing Horse range were proudly displayed in the paddock. Then at the end of the day the cars of a few lucky customers went out on track as part of the “Passione Ferrari” initiatives.
Sochi, 31 July 2016 – Day two of the fourth round of Ferrari Challenge Europe, held at the first ever Ferrari Racing Days in Russia, saw Bjorn Grossmann and Vladimir Atoev (Pirelli Am) repeat their wins in Race-1 in the Trofeo Pirelli, while in the Coppa Shell victory went to championship leader Thomas Loefflad.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli was first on the programme again today, with another exciting head to head between the 458 Challenge EVOs of Octane 126. Bjorn Grossmann started best, jumping ahead of everyone at the first corner while Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) took advantage of a sluggish Fabio Leimer to thread through into second place. However, the Swiss soon fought back to take important points off Grossmann’s main championship rival. At the end home driver Aleksey Basov (Motor Service) lost fourth place to an aggressive Marcello Puglisi (Rosscorsa) while Alessandro Vezzoni spent the entire race on the attack. With this victory Grossmann, who also recorded the fastest lap, lengthened his lead in the standings over Baron and Puglisi. Only the races at Hockenheim, Jerez de la Frontera and the Finali Mondiali in Daytona are still to go before the end of the season.
Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am race was thrown open when poleman Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) jumped the lights and received a drive-through penalty from the race direction. The championship leader’s penalty inspired Vladimir Atoev (Motor Service) for the second consecutive day. The 17 year-old product of the SMP Academy showed all the coolness of a veteran to hold off every attack from Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) beating him to the finish by just four tenths of a second. Third place went to America’s James Weiland (Rossocorsa) while Smeeth, who clocked up the fastest lap, had an hard and long duel with John Farano (Rossocorsa) to secure a fifth place useful for the championship.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell witnessed a fairly straightforward race with Thomas Loefflad (StileF Squadra Corse) retaining top spot at the start ahead of Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing). Fons Scheltema, winner of Race-1, lost ground and was overtaken first by Eric Cheung in his 103rd outing at the wheel of the 458 Challenge EVO, and then by the other Motor Service standard bearer, Kriton Lendoudis. Further back Claudio Schiavoni pulled off an exciting high-speed comeback after a poor start. The Italian driver also clocked up the fastest lap before ending up in a spin at the last corner to finish ninth. Murat Ruhi Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) chalked up a career best with seventh place. Deborah Mayer (Scuderia Niki) won the Ladies Cup, while the Gentlemen’s Cup went to Rick Lovat.
Sochi, 30 July 2016 – Two experienced drivers won on the first day of the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe, held at the first ever Ferrari Racing Days in Russia. Bjorn Grossmann triumphed in the Trofeo Pirelli and Fons Scheltema in the Coppa Shell, while we saw the birth of a star, 17-year-old Vladimir Atoev, a product of the SMP Racing Academy, who triumphed on his debut.
Trofeo Pirelli. The day’s programme opened with the Trofeo Pirelli, which saw a close race from start to finish. A fantastic head to head at the flag between the two 458 Challenge EVOs of Octane 126 saw Bjorn Grossmann slip into the lead at the first corner ahead of star rookie Fabio Leimer (2013 GP2 champion). A little further back Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa), Aleksey Basov (Motor Service) and Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) attempted to thread their way through together on Turn 1, with Baron cutting across part of the track to slip into third ahead of Basov and Smeeth. Grossmann stretched his lead recording the fastest lap of 2:14.100, while Baron was ordered to give way to Basov. Grossmann finished in front of his teammate Leimer while Baron crossed the line third but later received a penalty of 13 seconds to end up behind Basov to the delight of thousands of spectators who had flocked to the Sochi Autodrom.
Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am offered, if possible, an even better show, with lots of overtaking and the discovery of a young star, 17 year-old Russian Vladimir Atoev. At the start the poleman Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) was involved in a close encounter with two other cars. Indeed, the Brit came into contact with Aleksey Basov and Philipp Baron, wasting time and allowing Atoev to gain ground. The young Motor Service driver thus managed to pass Smeeth and next time round decisively stretched his lead with the fastest lap of the race. Shortly after John Farano (Rossocorsa) also overtook Smeeth and established a bit of an advantage. However, Smeeth soon began pushing back to pass Farano who defended his podium spot against the attacks of Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa). So victory went to Vladimir Atoev on his debut.
Pirelli Am. The Coppa Shell thrilled fans with a typically close battle. At the start Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing), who had made a detailed study of the starting procedure, flashed past championship leader Thomas Loefflad (StileF Squadra Corse), who then regained his position but made a mistake to end up in a spin. At that point Eric Cheung led Lovat, Scheltema (Kessel Racing) and Lendoudis (Motor Racing), but the Motor Service driver had jumped the start and was penalized with a drive-through. Lovat appeared all set for victory but in the last two laps Scheltema went full throttle. He attacked first on the home straight and then overtook his teammate on the opposite side of the track for his third career win ahead of Lovat and Lendoudis. He also took the Gentlemen’s Cup while the Ladies Cup went to Deborah Mayer (Scuderia Niki) who notched up a career best with tenth place.
Sochi, 30 July 2016 – Russian Aleksey Basov tells us about the Sochi Autodrom, a wonderful track that is only 3 year-old. Basov is the 2012 Coppa Shell champion and went on to win the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship. He will be driving the Motors Service 458 Challenge
Details. The Sochi track is characterized by 9 turns with sharp corners and narrow chicane. The second part of the track is very technical and features a complex of turns where the driver must maintain the optimal trajectory with absolute precision to make the most of the grip from the asphalt but also two strainght line. The third section is the slowest one with turns to deal with in second and third gear, direction changes and sudden insertions.
Sochi, 28 July 2016 – The Ferrari Challenge Europe resumes this weekend a little over a month after Le Mans, and its only double-points race. The battle is wide open in the Trofeo Pirelli with just 13 points separating the top three drivers in the standings. Reigning European champion Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) is in command nine points ahead of Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) and 13 in front of Rossocorsa standard-bearer, Marcello Puglisi. Reigning WEC (World Endurance Championship) world champion Aleksey Basov and 2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer will be among the other competitors in the category.
Pirelli Am. Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) will seek to stretch his lead in the Pirelli Am class but Tommaso Rocca and John Farano will be there to push the British driver all the way. Challenge North America regular, James Weiland (Rossocorsa), will also be competing in this class.
Coppa Shell. Thomas Loefflad (StileF Racing Team) will be on the track in Sochi, where the absence of Erich Prinoth will give him a chance to lengthen his lead in the Coppa Shell. The race will also include the current leader of the Gentlemen’s Cup, Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), who is third in the standings.
Programme. In Russia there will again be two races each day: on Saturday Race-1 of the Trofeo Pirelli will be at 2:15 pm local time (1:15 pm CET), followed by the first Coppa Shell race at 4:40 pm (3:40 pm). On Sunday Race-2 of the Trofeo Pirelli will run at 1:30 pm (12:30 pm CET) while the Coppa Shell will be held at 5:45 pm (4:45 pm CET).
Sochi, 27 July 2016 – It is all set at the Sochi Autodrom for the first Ferrari Racing Days in Russia. The city that hosts Formula 1 Grand Prix in the Russian Federation and in 2014 was the venue for the Winter Olympic Games will provide the perfect background for the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe as well as for a series of track sessions for the cars of the XX Programmes and F1 Clienti.
Scuderia show. Scuderia Ferrari’s performance on Sunday is certainly due to be one of the highlights. Andrea Bertolini, Formula 1 team test driver and experienced endurance racer, will drive the F60. Andrea has completed nearly 400 car tests, including single-seaters and cars for sale to customers, and in 2015 won the World Endurance Championship in the GTE-Am class at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GTE of SMP Racing team along with Russia’s Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaytar.
Thousands of fans expected. Thousands of fans are expected to line the track, built on the site of the 2014 Olympic facilities, enriching their holidays on the Black Sea with a trip to the circuit to witness the grand spectacle of dozens of Ferraris that will be taking part in the activities of Corse Clienti but not just. The Ferrari Challenge Europe is now in its fourth round with the fight for the Trofeo Pirelli extremely open. Bjorn Grossmann tops the rankings, but Philipp Baron and Marcello Puglisi certainly don’t plan on giving up. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am and Coppa Shell, Britain’s Sam Smeeth and Germany’s Thomas Loefflad will be trying to extend their lead in the standings.
Incredible single-seaters and cars. Ten sessions for F1 Clienti and the cars of the XX Programmes are also due to take place at the Ferrari Racing Days in Sochi. The F1 Clienti on track will include an F10 (2010), an F2005 and an F300, while among the cars of the XX Programmes will be some FXX Ks, the latest car of this very special activity, with over 1000 hp and a hybrid technology derived from Formula 1, plus one FXX and nine 599XXs, the second car the XX Programmes.
In the paddock. As always during the Ferrari Racing Days the attractions are not confined to the track. Lots of Ferrari clients will be parked in the paddock and will also lap the track thanks to the “Passione Ferrari” initiative, while many entertainment areas will provide the Russian public with a complete picture of the Ferrari sports world.