Shanghai, 28 April – Once again this year, the Shanghai International Circuit hosts the Asia Pacific series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, this weekend being the second round. The spectacular and high tech venue is home to the Chinese F1 Grand Prix and is known as one of the more demanding Hermann Tilke-designed tracks with several long high speed turns generating a high level of lateral g-forces.
It is therefore a great test for the 32 drivers competing in the Maranello marque’s one-make series that features plenty of events on some of the most interesting race tracks in the world. The two free practice sessions on Friday gave competitors a chance to find the best balance and set-up on the 28 Ferrari 458 Challenge cars and today saw the drivers tackle two qualifying sessions lasting 30 minutes each.
Fastest in both Trofeo Pirelli sessions was Ringo Chong. The Singaporean stopped the clock in 1.52.811, followed in the first run by Japan’s Hisamori Hayashi and France’s Alain Li. In the second session, Chong (1.53.613) finished ahead of Hayashi again, with third this time going to Italy’s Philippe Prette, who last season drove in the European series of the Ferrari one-make championship and already did well in this year’s opening round at Suzuka.
A Singaporean also came out on top in the Coppa Shell with the pole double going to Gregory Teo, fastest in both sessions. In the first session he set a time of 1.55.045, followed by Alex Au from Hong Kong and the Canadian Eric Cheung, who was competing in Imola last weekend in the European Challenge. The Q2 timesheet had an identical order; Teo (1.55.051) then Au (1.55.653) and Cheung (1.55.675.)
Tomorrow’s two races are at 11.00 and 15.10 and will be shown live on www.corseclienti.ferrari.com, then new channel devoted entirely to all the activities of the Maranello company department set up for the benefit of its owners who are passionate about racing.