The Ferrari Challenge championship completed its annual Ferrari Racing Days extravaganza at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday with two races and many more on track sessions for the 140+ cars that were in attendance.
Following Saturday’s perfect day and blue skies, Sunday’s races were held in much cooler conditions as drivers worked to get the correct temperatures into the Pirelli tires and to maximize the performance of their Ferrari 488 Challenge Evos.
Trofeo Pirelli: Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) secured his second win of the 2023 Challenge championship by the slimmest of margins on Sunday, besting Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) by just 0.008s. In a race that was defined by intense racing at every position, penalties ended up being a defining factor in the final podium result. Most significantly of these penalties were two 5.0s additions added to the race time of Manny Franco (Ferrari of Lake Forest) who won the race on the road, but was served those penalties for an improper gridding procedure infraction and also for avoidable contact.
Behind, it was a nose to tail affair as a mid-race safety-car brought the leading pack back together for the final five minutes of racing. At the head, Franco started to re-build his gap, but behind the intensity of the racing came to a new level as drivers jockeyed for position in the closing moments. At the end it was Dylan Medler (The Collection) who secured the final podium place despite significant last lap contact with Roberto Perrina (Ferrari of Seattle) that even extended beyond the checkered flag, earning both drivers penalties for the following weekend.
In the Am category, Brad Fauvre (Ferrari of San Francisco) secured his first win of the 2023 season, vaulting him up the standings. His win was a bit more comfortable, leading home Brian Cook (Ferrari of Seattle) by 1.8s at the line. Justin Rothberg (Ferrari of Palm Beach) secured his second podium of the weekend, this time settling for the third position.
Coppa Shell: Grey Fauvre (Ferrari of San Francisco) repeated his Saturday performance with a win on Sunday, with a margin of 2.214s over second-place finisher Cameron Root (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo). A full course yellow also interrupted the Coppa Shell proceedings and meant that the race resumed with only four minutes remaining, leaving Fauve little time to show his pace advantage.
Root also had a comfortable advantage of 2.0s over third place finisher John Viskup (Boardwalk Ferrari) who was a further 2.0s back, but was locked in a tight fight with Rey Acosta (The Collection). Those two came to the line with only 0.8s separating them.
It was a difficult race for championship-leader Sureel Choksi (Ferrari of Denver) who had several incidents during the race and was ultimately given a penalty in the next race for incident responsibility.
In the Coppa Shell Am category, Dan Cornish (Ferrari of Austin) made it two of two at his home race. The Austin-based driver was not able to get out to such an advantage this round as he was followed closely by Jeffrey Nunberg (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) who earned his first podium in Challenge competition in Sunday’s race. Darren Bernstein (Ferrari of Washington) repeated his Saturday performance with another third-place finish on Sunday.
Ferrari Challenge will return to action at Road Atlanta with testing sessions kicking off the weekend on May 17 and 18 followed by the official weekend on May 19-21.