After an extraordinary experience at Le Mans, as a support race for the Centenary edition of the iconic 24 Hours, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe is back on the track this weekend for the fifth round. The Estoril Circuit will host the 488 Challenge Evo and the drivers are ready to start the most competitive and decisive phase of the season.
Given the announced absence of Hungarian Bence Valint (Rossocorsa – Ferrari Budapest), third overall, it will be up to Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) and Max Mugelli (CDP – Eureka Competition) to try to halt the rapid progress of Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili ) on his way to the 2023 title. The man from Salento leads the table with 100 points after four wins and two second places, plus the fast laps and pole positions that have made him the undisputed leader of the main category. Behind him, Fleming is 33 points behind in second, while Mugelli is fourth, 40 points ahead.
Pirelli Am Trophy
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, despite leaving the La Sarthe circuit empty-handed,
Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing) remains firmly at the front, with 26 points more than Hanno Laskowski (Emil Frey Sportivo). The other candidates in the category are further behind, but are still determined to succeed and score important points, starting with David Gostner (CDP – MP Racing), second in Le Mans, and Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing), who missed France in the last month.
After the prestigious victory in the last round, Manuela Gostner (CDP – MP Racing) will try to keep the fight for the title alive. Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) is the clear favorite with a total of 97 points, 33 more than the Italian after three wins, two second places and a third. Meanwhile, there is a fierce fight for the remaining positions in the classification, with veteran Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) in third. He will have to defend himself from the attacks of Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm – Scuderia GT), in fifth and 10 points away, who is ready to take advantage of the absence of Willem van der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo). The Estoril round of the Ferrari Challenge will see the return of Thomas Löfflad (Gohm – Baron Motorsport), who has five seasons in the Cavalinho Rampante single-brand competition and the 2016 class title.
Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport), currently second in the standings behind leader Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing), will not take part in the Coppa Shell Am in Estoril. After victories at Misano, Spielberg and Le Mans, Baerwaldt will look to increase his lead and take advantage of his closest rival’s absence. However, the Singaporean driver will face strong opposition, in particular from Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Motors Shiba), who is coming off two unlucky races, Henrik Kamstrup (Formula Racing), who took an excellent second place in France, Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport) , who has been improving his performance, and Stefano Marazzi (Rossocorsa), fourth in Le Mans.
As part of the Ferrari Racing Days, after the free practice sessions, the Ferrari Challenge Europe sees the first Qualifying sessions take place on Saturday, with the Coppa Shell Am on the track at 09:00 and the Coppa Shell at 09:30. The green light for Race 1 comes on at 2:20 pm. The Trofeo Pirelli has Qualifying at 11:40 am, with the first race at 5:25 pm. On Sunday, Qualifying for the 16th Coppa Shell is scheduled for 9:00 am and the Coppa Sell Am for 9:30 am, with Race 2 again at 2:20 pm. After Qualifying at 11:40 am, the Trofeo Pirelli starts at 3:30 pm. All in local time.
Qualifying and Races are broadcast live, free of charge, with commentary in English on live.ferrari.com and on the Ferrari YouTube channel.