Ferrari Challenge Europe – Glory in Brno for Nielsen, Froggatt, Hurni and Nussbaumer
Ferrari 488 Challenge drivers Nicklas Nielsen, Chris Froggatt, Christophe Hurni and Alexander Nussbaumer won the first races of the Brno round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe 2018.
Trofeo Pirelli. The day opened with the Trofeo Pirelli, which saw a breakaway at the start by Danish driver Nicklas Nielsen in pole, who took advantage of the duel between rookie Sean Hudpseth (Formula Racing) and Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). Towards mid-race the German driver received a penalty for jumping the start and this opened the way to a Formula Racing clean sweep with podium places for Nielsen, Hudspeth and Jens Liebhauser. Grossmann had to settle for fourth ahead of Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. Scuderia Praha’s Jan Danis was one of the drivers penalised for jumping the start. The Czech had done really well to use pole position to pull away from his rivals. However, the drive-through relegated him to the back of the field from where he executed an exciting comeback to secure second place after overtaking Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) and Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126).Chris Froggatt won the race, it was the fifth of the season for the Ferrari GB – HR Owen driver.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell race was decided at the start when Christophe Hurni, in the 488 Challenge of Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne, overtook polewoman Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) at the first curve. On the second row, her sister Corinna jumped the start and incurred a drive-through penalty. Shortly after, Erich Prinoth overtook Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) to take third. Manuela Gostner kept Hurni under pressure throughout but the Swiss made no mistakes and crossed the finish line with a lead of just under one second. This is Hurni’s second win of 2018, while Gostner is celebrating her second runner-up spot. Prinoth is back on the podium after missing out at Silverstone. Cheung, in fourth, still tops the standings.
Shell Am. In the Coppa Shell Am, Alexander Nussbaumer was the author of a perfect race: starting from pole, the Formula Racing driver took an immediate lead over his rivals, leaving second place to Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing). Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa), who entered the weekend leading the championship, made a thrilling late comeback. On the last lap, Dusan Palcr, who had just been overtaken by Mattsson, tried to recover his podium position but hit the Swedish driver’s car and spun out. However, Mattsson resumed immediately to notch up yet another podium in 2018.
Ferrari Challenge Europe Nielsen, Froggatt, Kirchmayr and Nussbaumer win at Brno
The second races of the fifth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe were held at Brno, in an atmosphere marked by the sad news about Sergio Marchionne’s health. Nicklas Nielsen and Chris Froggatt notched up further wins in the Trofeo Pirelli and Trofeo Pirelli Am, while Ernst Kirchmayr and Saturday’s winner Alexander Nussbaumer emerged victorious in the Coppa Shell.
Trofeo Pirelli. Nicklas Nielsen, in the 488 Challenge of Formula Racing, made a perfect start for the second consecutive day, thus cushioning himself from the attacks of Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). However, the race was soon over for rookie Sean Hudspeth (Formula Racing) and Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) who came into contact in one of the very first corners. Jens Liebhauser took advantage, with a second successive podium finish presented to him on a platter.
Pirelli Am. The first lap claimed another two victims, with John Dhillon and local hero Jan Danis coming into contact and putting themselves out of the running. Ahead Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) quickly pulled away leaving Robert Pergl (Scuderia Praha) and Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) to fight for second. It was Pergl who came out on top in the end. Froggatt is now a whisker away from the title. Before the race Olivier Beretta and the Scuderia Ferrari mechanics brought the allure of Formula 1 to fans in the Czech Republic with scorching accelerations, fast pit stops and the famous celebratory “donuts”.
Coppa Shell. The heavens then opened over the Coppa Shell race at 3.30 pm. Race officials had to bring out the Safety Car and some teams worked too long on the cars so a number of drivers suffered a 25-second penalty. Ernst Kirchmayr was the day’s big star in the 488 Challenge of Baron Motorsport. The Austrian caught and overtook championship leader Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) and Ineco-MP Racing’s Manuela Gostner and Erich Prinoth, who both were then penalised. In the end Kirchmayr finished first, ahead of Cheung, who further stretched his lead in the standings, with wet weather specialist Vladimir Hladik taking the third step of the podium
Shell Am. Formula Racing’s Alexander Nussbaumer pulled off another masterful race in the Coppa Shell Am class. The Austrian driver managed the car in the early stages and then launched an attack in the final part catching Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa) for the win. Third place went to local hero Dusan Palcr (Scuderia Praha), while championship contenders Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa) and Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) were placed fourth and fifth.