Le Castellet, 23 July 2017 – Bjorn Grossmann, Jens Liebhauser and Henry Hassid won the second races of the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe at Le Castellet in France.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell kicked off the day again on Sunday. Formula Racing’s Johnny Laursen held first place at the start in the 488 Challenge but could do nothing against Henry Hassid (Charles Pozzi) who soon took command. Erich Prinoth was at the heart of a scrap that played out behind the first two. The Ineco-MP Racing team driver came into contact with Vladimir Hladik (Baron Service) at the start and then went on the attack against Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) for fourth place. After passing the Swiss driver, the Italian set off in pursuit of Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) but the duel ended badly when Prinoth bumped his rival and the two 488 Challenges ended up in a spin. The race ended there for both of them. Hurni and Hladik then took up the fight for third, with the Swiss winning out after the Czech went into a spin on the last lap while attempting to overtake him. Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) also finished ahead of him. Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) won the Ladies’ Cup while Hassid also took the Gentlemen’s Cup.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli race was spectacular and brimming with drama. Setting off from pole, Daniele Di Amato in the 488 Challenge of CDP was almost caught by Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) but held off the German, Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa), his teammate Andrea Gagliardini and Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing). The two Italians came in contact on the second lap with Vezzoni suffering a drive-through penalty. On the fourth lap Di Amato was slower than Grossmann who was right in his wake. However, next time round the German went into a spin while chasing hard, thus relinquishing second place to the advantage of Baron. A little later the Austrian was forced into the pits by a problem with the rear of his 488 Challenge and only returned after a two-lap delay. Gagliardini thus moved into third, but from then on was under pressure from Sam Smeeth, who passed him with four laps to go in his Stratstone Ferrari’s 488 Challenge. The last lap saw a final twist with Di Amato suffering problems with his car and finally losing out to Grossmann just two corners from the finish. Smeeth took third ahead of Vezzoni, Gagliardini and Baron. Di Amato still tops the championship standings.
Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am saw a steadier race. At the start Jens Liebhauser (Formula Racing) held onto first in front of Briton Chris Froggatt in the HR Owen team car. Ettore Contini (Kessel Racing) was in third, hanging on even in the final laps when the 488 Challenge of his teammate Marc Muzzo, just back from the Challenge North America, loomed large in his rear-view mirrors. Martin Nelson, who is still second to Liebhauser in the championship standings, finished fifth with the 488 Challenge of Scuderia Autoropa, ahead of the winner of Race-1, Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa). Turkish Octane 126 team driver Galip Atar won among the old 458 Challenge EVOs. The Ferrari Challenge Europe will now take its summer break. Drivers and cars will be back on track for the Ferrari Racing Days at Silverstone on 23 and 24 September.