Ferrari Challenge kicked off its final North American stop in 2023 at Road America under perfect blue skies and wonderfully comfortable temperatures as drivers looked to enjoy their stop at the National Park of Speed.
With fourteen turns and 4.048 miles of circuit to enjoy, the best attributes of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo were set to shine brightly, as the 670cv of the twin-turbo V8 engine and significant aero features combined to offer an unparalleled driving experience that was uninterrupted by any caution periods through both races.
Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) secured the win in Saturday’s race, launching away from his pole position start and never relinquishing the lead throughout the thirty minute contest.
Run entirely under green-flag conditions, the race seemed to begin smoothly for the championship leader, but towards the end he came under increasing pressure from Onofrio Triarsi (Ferrari of Central Florida) who rapidly closed the gap in the final lap and even took a bit of a look into the final corner, but ultimately came up 0.504 seconds shy of the win.
Manny Franco (Ferrari of Lake Forest) took third, but was some three seconds back after losing out on his front row starting position in the first corner. With the race running entirely under the green flag, outright pace and tire management became the keys to mastering the immense speeds and challenging corners that Road America had to offer.
In the Am category, it was Justin Rothberg (Ferrari of Palm Beach) who again secured the win over Brian Cook (Ferrari of Seattle) and Tony Davis (Continental Autosports) who finished third. The trio enjoyed a healthy battle at the front with Davis in particular looking to make advances before a loss of momentum or the accumulation of debris on his tires saw him fall back towards his pursuers.
The group finished with just about a second separating each of them, a testament to the intense and competitive nature of the category.
Similar to the Trofeo Pirelli race, Cameron Root (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) secured the win in Saturday’s race, winning from pole position by 1.4 seconds over his nearest challenger, David Voronin (Foreign Cars Italia).
The win was an important one for Root who currently leads the championship but had not stood on the top step since the opening weekend in Miami, and so he was eager to get back on top and seize the momentum as the series has only three races remaining in 2023.
Grey Fauvre (Ferrari of San Francisco) secured third, but ultimately did not factor in the fight for the win, finishing nine seconds back from the top two. Meanwhile in the Coppa Shell AM category, Bruce Cleveland (Ferrari of Silicon Valley) showed that his pace from Sonoma was not a coincidence with yet another win at Road America, leading home Lisa Clark (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) by nine seconds while Dan Cornish (Ferrari of Austin) finished a further two seconds further back in third.
The result was an important one for Clark as Cleveland’s third consecutive win now makes him the lead challenger for the Coppa Shell AM category championship, fourteen points behind Clark.
Ferrari Challenge returns to the track on Sunday for the final races of the North American season in 2023.
Qualifying gets underway at 10:10 A.M (all times local) and runs through 11:25 A.M. while the races will get under way with the first green flag at 1:40 P.M. for the Coppa Shell category while Trofeo Pirelli will have its green flag at 2:35 P.M.
All qualifying and race sessions can be watched live at live.ferrari.com.