2012 was the twentieth season for the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirell, first run in 1993 as part of the Prancing Horse race activities. Since then it has grown into a benchmark in the world of one-make racing series. For the first time this year, the former European and Italian series were merged into one Continental series. It has raced on historic tracks such as Monza, Imola, Mugello, Vallelunga, Budapest, Spa and Silverstone. The English track also staged the Ferrari Racing Days and was the backdrop to a truly unique spectacle which brought together no less than 964 Ferraris on track.
This year, the 458 Challenge was the only eligible car in the championship, continuing where its predecessor had left off, after passing its first year test with flying colours in 2011. As always the series is divided between the Trofeo Pirelli for professional racers and the Coppa Shell for gentleman drivers. This year, the European series introduced the Coppa Giovani classification for the under 25s and a Coppa Gentleman for the over 55s.
The 2012 season has been very closely contested and, at Vallelunga, in the final round prior to Valencia, the Coppa Shell title was decided in favour of Alexey Basov (Ferrari Moscow.) Two second places were enough for the Russian to win the championship, beating Raffaele Giannoni (Motor/Piacenza) into second place. The Russian team cannot be beaten in the Trofeo Pirelli, although the outcome is yet to be decided between the two team-mates, Italy's Alessandro Balzan, currently on top and his fiercest rival, the German Bjorn Grossmann. The Russians have had a brilliant season, with the Coppa Giovani already in the hands of Alexander Skryabin, as well as Ferrari Moscow was emerging victorious in the Coppa Team. There is still everything to play for in the Coppa Gentleman, currently led by Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) who has a slim advantage over the Ineco/MP crew of Erich Prinoth and Vincenzo Sauto.
Valencia will also feature competitors in both the North America and Asia Pacific Ferrari Challenge series taking part, at the end of a season that has seen them race as support events at Formula 1 Grands Prix in Montreal, Singapore and Austin. Onofrio Triarsi (Ferrari of Central Florida) has already taken the North American Trofeo Pirelli title, but the other categories are still open and there will be plenty of action all the way to the flag as competitors vie for the world title.