Ferrari Challenge continues its North American series with a stop at the historic Watkins Glen circuit in upstate New York. The 3.4 mile circuit and the town it was named for were critical to the establishment of road course racing in the United States, hosting the United States Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980. Now home to one of three road course rounds for the NASCAR series, Watkins Glen continues to challenge drivers with a fast, rewarding layout that has little margin for error. As the series moves to the back half of the schedule, these tight margins for error will take added importance as the championship picture begins to clarify.
Trofeo Pirelli. Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) has the top spot over Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) in the Trofeo Pirelli championship standings with a 17 point difference separating the two. Cooper’s strong performances in the opening couple of rounds combined with Peter’s misfortune at the first race at Laguna Seca are all that separates the two. A bit further back, Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) holds a 10 point advantage over James Weiland (Boardwalk Ferrari) for the final step on the championship podium.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Rob Hodes (Scuderia CAVA – Ferrari of Washington) holds a ten point advantage over Dave Musial (Lake Forest Sportscar), an advantage that was significantly reduced at the most recent round in Montreal. Alfred Caiola (Ferrari of Long Island) trails Dave by only three points, using a strong run of podiums at Laguna Seca and Montreal to close up on those in front of him.
Coppa Shell. Thomas Tippl (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) has taken a commanding lead in the Coppa Shell category, leading Mark Fuller (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Westlake) by over sixty points. The American executive can afford to drive conservatively, but has also won every race dating back to Race 2 at Daytona at the start of the season. Mark holds an 11 point lead over American movie star Michael Fassbender (Ferrari North America) though the series does not expect Michael to return to the series for the remainder of 2018, leaving Chris Carel (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) to take up the charge.
Coppa Shell AM. Dale Katechis has the narrowest championship lead at just a single point over John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island). Dale was able to capitalize when John missed the most recent round in Montreal, but the two have been trading results all season, but will not be attending the round at Watkins Glen, so will automatically cede his advantage back to John at the end of the weekend. Slightly further back, Kevan Millstein (Scuderia CAVA – Ferrari of San Diego) has a five point lead over Brian Simon (Cauley Ferrari of Detroit) for third in the championship.
458 EVO. Martin Burrowes (Ferrari Ft Lauderdale) has claimed an 18 point lead over Trevor Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo). Martin will be looking to extend his championship advantage in the more limited schedule offered to 458 EVO drivers in 2018. The most recent action in 458 EVO took place at Laguna Seca in May, hopefully the two month hiatus has allowed drivers to sharpen their skills before returning to the track. James Walker (Ferrari of Houston) is making a strong challenge for second in the championship, sitting only six points behind the young Trevor Baek.
Schedule. On track action will begin on Thursday for unofficial testing while official sessions will be on Friday – Sunday. As has become du rigor for Ferrari Challenge in North America, track time will be split where Trofeo Pirelli, Coppa Shell and 458 categories will all have their own sessions. Those will begin at 9:00AM on each day while track action will conclude by 6pm.