Maranello, 3 April –This weekend, Monza hosts the first round of this season’s Ferrari Challenge Europe, the longest running series of the famous one-make championship. There are no less than 44 cars – 27 in the Trofeo Pirelli and 17 in the Coppa Shell – entered for the races at the history track in the Lombardy region of Italy. There is bound to be plenty of the usual wheel to wheel action which has always characterized these races.
The FIA approved championship first took place in 1993 and is split between the Trofeo Pirelli with subcategories for Pro and Am drivers and the Coppa Shell, which includes a special Coppa Gentlemen for the over 55s. There are two races per category run over Saturday and Sunday. The races are short and spectacular and tactics have to make room for instinct, because 30 minutes is not really long enough for a convoluted strategy. There are seven rounds, all on really interesting tracks: following on Monza comes Mugello, then Brno, Portimao, Silverstone, Istanbul, before the Finali Mondiali in December in Abu Dhabi.
The North American and Asia-Pacific Ferrari Challenge series have already got underway for this year and they too end up in Abu Dhabi from 3 to 6 December. On that Saturday, once the individual titles for the three series have been decided, all the top competitors battle it out in a race to see who takes the title of World Champion.
This year, all the series run the 458 Challenge Evo, a car fitted with a new aerodynamic kit which boosts performance. Worthy of note is the rear wing, which is based on the one used in GT races and gives the cars much greater corner speed, promising even more excitement in the championships.