One of the most competitive editions in the history of Ferrari Challenge Europe kicks off this weekend at Mugello. On Saturday and Sunday over forty 488 Challenges will take to the 5,245-metre Tuscan track to battle it out in the championship’s four classes. Drivers representing 19 countries will compete, from the small Principality of Liechtenstein, represented by the young Fabienne Wohlwend, to the US with Jean-Claude Saada.
Trofeo Pirelli. Pirelli Am 2017 champion Jens Liebhauser will try to make an impact for Formula Racing in the Trofeo Pirelli class. The German will need to face up to Wohlwend as well as the experienced Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126), the young Nicklas Nielsen (Formula Racing), who impressed last November in two of the three races at the Mugello Finali Mondiali, and the returning Enzo Potolicchio, who has one career title to his name.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. Sweden’s Martin Nelson and British driver Chris Froggatt are the favourites in the Trofeo Pirelli Am class. Last year they were in the title running until the final round at Liebhauser. The Scuderia Autoropa and HR Owen drivers will lock horns with the veteran Tommaso Rocca who has more than ten years of experience in the championship.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell also promises a great show, and it is here that the Gostner family, Thomas and the sisters Manuela and Corinna, back in strength after a year’s maternity leave. They will face competition for the title from Ineco-MP Racing friend and teammate, Erich Prinoth, but also from Fons Scheltema of Kessel Racing.
Coppa Shell Am. The new Coppa Shell Am class promises to be the least predictable. This category also includes some names with a bit more kudos than others, such as Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) or Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa). However, we should not underestimate Belgium’s Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen), who has shone in GT championships in Great Britain. Poland’s Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa) also made a good impression in the tests, making her debut in the Ferrari one-make series after having tasted the category through the Club Challenge programme in 2017.
Programme. The 2018 season opens today with the optional test and will go live on Friday with the first free practice. Qualifying takes place on Saturday and Sunday morning, while on both days the races kick off at 12:50 pm (Trofeo Pirelli) and 3:35 pm (Coppa Shell). Fans in the paddock will not only find the Ferrari Challenge: the entire range will be on display, including the brand-new Ferrari 488 Pista, recently presented in Geneva. Over the weekend, the paddock will also feature a large number of private Ferraris and some classic cars.