Ferrari Challenge

The Ferrari Challenge is a single-marque motorsport championship that was created in 1993 for owners of the 348 Berlinetta who wanted to become involved in racing. It now encompasses three official championships in the United States, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.[1] Competitors from each series are brought together at the annual World Finals (Finali Mondiali) event. From 2007-10, the Ferrari Challenge exclusively used the Ferrari F430 model. 2011 saw the introduction of the 458 Challenge with the 458 Challenge Evoluzione following in 2014. In 2018 Ferrari introduced the 488 Challenge.

Series

A Ferrari F430 Challenge car used in the North American series.

Currently there are three distinct series, but in 2001, the number of championships peaked at five, with three in Europe, one in the United States, and one in Japan.[2] Since 2001, the Ferrari Challenge is managed by Ferrari's Corse Clienti department ("customer racing").

Ferrari Challenge Italy

The now defunct Ferrari Challenge Italy used a two-class format in which distinguished between professional competition drivers in the Trofeo Pirelli (lit. "Pirelli Trophy") and amateur "gentleman drivers" in the Coppa Shell (lit. "Shell Cup").[3] This format has now been transferred to the Europe Challenge series. It was originally launched in 1993, with backing from Pirelli. Its popularity has resulted in a 2007 entry list of ten teams represented by 37 drivers. The Challenge Italy series is now merged with the European Challenge-series.[4][5]

Ferrari Challenge Europe

Like the Challenge Italy, the European series is a two-class championship. For the 2012 calendar it contains 7 races, with 4 of them being held on Italian circuits. This is done in sync with the Italian series now merged into the European. The remaining 3 races are held at Hungaroring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Silverstone.[6] The European Challenge is by far the largest series, with between 50–55 entrants for the 2012 season.

Ferrari Challenge North America

Ferrari F430 Challenge racer at New Jersey Motorsports Park, North American series (2008 season).

The North American also features the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell class system.[7] This championship was inaugurated in 1994. It is organized by Ferrari North America and sanctioned by IMSA.[8][9] The 2012 season consists of 7 events in the US and Canada. The 2012 grid of the FCNA includes 20 drivers, making it the smallest Challenge-series worldwide in terms of entrants.

Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific is the most recent of the Challenge series since the 2011 season, inaugurated in combination with the growing interest and sales for Ferrari in Asia. The season encompasses events in Japan, China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The Asia-Pacific also features the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell class system. Grid is made up of 35 to 40 drivers for the 2012 season.

Unofficial series

The Ferrari Challenge has inspired other national club-level championships that are not affiliated with Ferrari S.p.A. itself. The 'Ferrari Scandinavia Challenge' is an unofficial championship with events in Sweden, and Denmark. It was created in 2001 and is not exclusive to the latest Challenge cars, with many classes so that models all the way back to the 348 are eligible for entry.[10] The UK has a similar unofficial series comprising three championships for older cars that is organised by the Ferrari Owners' Club.[11] In recent years, a club championship open to all Challenge cars har been organized in the US under the name of Ferrari Club Racing Championship/Association as an alternative to the Ferrari Challenge North America, which many competitors felt was too expensive. The FCRA hosts 6 rounds during a season.[12]

Finali Mondiali

From 2014, the major Ferrari Challenge series (Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific) have combined to host a World Final common event for all championships. This event culminates in a race containing as many of the competitors across all series in both Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell as can fit. The following table represents the winners of each event:

Year Circuit Trofeo Pirelli Coppa Shell Source
2013 Italy Mugello Circuit Pro: Austria Philipp Baron Am: Italy Giosue Rizzuto [13]
2014 United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit Pro: Italy Max Blancardi
Pro-Am: Mexico Ricardo Pérez de Lara
Am: Italy Massimiliano Bianchi [14][15][16]
2015 Italy Mugello Circuit Pro: Italy Matteo Santoponte
Pro-Am: Italy Alessandro Vezzoni
Am: Italy Erich Prinoth [17][18][19]
2016 United States Daytona International Speedway Pro: Venezuela Carlos Kauffman
Pro-Am: United Kingdom Sam Smeeth
Am: Germany Thomas Löfflad [20]
2017 Italy Mugello Circuit Pro: Switzerland Fabio Leimer
Pro-Am: Germany Jens Liebhauser
Am: Denmark Johnny Laursen [21][22]
2018 Italy Autodromo Nazionale Monza Pro: Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Pro-Am: Liechtenstein Fabienne Wohlwend
Pro-Am: Switzerland Christophe Hurni
Am: Sweden Ingvar Mattsson
[23]
2019 Italy Mugello Circuit Pro: United Kingdom Adam Carroll
Pro-Am: Italy Emanuele-Maria Tabacchi
Pro-Am: United States James Weiland
Am: Sweden Ingvar Mattsson
[24][25][26]

Champions

Year Europe North America Asia-Pacific
Trofeo Pirelli Coppa Shell Trofeo Pirelli Coppa Shell Trofeo Pirelli Coppa Shell
2003 Pro: France Ange Barde[27]
2004 Pro: France Ange Barde[28]
2005 Pro: Republic of Ireland Michael Cullen[29]
2006 Pro: France Ange Barde[30] Am: Spain Ángel Santos[31]
2007 Pro: Republic of Ireland Michael Cullen[32] Am: Spain Ángel Santos[33] Pro: United States Mike Zoi[34]
2008 Pro: Italy Max Blancardi[35] Am: Spain Ángel Santos[36] Pro: United States Roberto Fata[37]
2009 Pro: France Nicolas Misslin[38] Am: France Jean-Marc Bachelier[39]
2010 Pro: Austria Philipp Baron[40] Am: Italy Sossio del Prete[41]
2011 Pro: Italy Max Blancardi[42] Am: France Jean-Marc Bachelier[43] Am: Hong Kong Alex Au[44]
2012 Pro: Italy Alessandro Balzan[45] Am: Russia Aleksey Basov[46] Am: Canada Damon Ockey[47] Am: Hong Kong Alex Au[48]
2013 Pro: Ukraine Sergey Chukanov[49] Am: Germany Dirk Adamski[50] Am: Brazil João Adibe[51] Pro: Thailand Pasin Lathouras[52] Am: Hong Kong Eric Cheung[53]
2014 Pro: Italy Daniele di Amato[54]
Pro-Am: Argentina Ezequiel Pérez Companc[55]
Am: Italy Massimiliano Bianchi[56] Am: United States Christopher Ruud[57] Pro: Hong Kong Eric Cheung[58] Am: Indonesia David Tjiptobiantoro[59]
2015 Pro: Germany Björn Grossmann[60]
Pro-Am: Sweden Martin Nelson[61]
Am: Belgium Jacques Duyver[62] Pro: Canada Emmanuel Anassis[63]
Pro-Am: United States Mike Zoi[64]
Am: United States Jean-Claude Saada[65] Pro: Australia Stephan Wyatt[66]
Pro-Am: China Wei Xu[67]
Pro-Am: China Xin Jin[68]
2016 Pro: Germany Björn Grossmann[69]
Pro-Am: United Kingdom Sam Smeeth[70]
Am: Germany Thomas Löfflad[71] Pro: Venezuela Carlos Kauffman[72]
Pro-Am: United States James Weiland[73]
Am: United States Joe Courtney[74]
report
2017 Pro: Italy Daniele di Amato[75]
Pro-Am: Germany Jens Liebhauser[76]
Am: Denmark Johnny Laursen[77] Pro: United States Brett Curtis[78]
Pro-Am: United States Chris Cagnazzi[79]
Am: United States Richard Baek[80] Pro: Italy Philippe Prette[81]
Pro-Am: Japan Ken Seto[82]
Pro-Am: Japan Makoto Fujiwara[83]
report
2018 Pro: Denmark Nicklas Nielsen[84]
Pro-Am: United Kingdom Chris Froggatt[85]
Pro-Am: Switzerland Christophe Hurni[86]
Am: Turkey Murat Cuhadaroğlu[87]
Pro: United States Cooper MacNeil[88]
Pro-Am: United States Ross Chouest[89]
Pro-Am: United States Thomas Tippl[90]
Am: United States John Megrue[91]
Pro: Italy Philippe Prette[92] Pro-Am: Lebanon Tani Hanna[93]
Am: New Zealand David Dicker[94]
report report
2019 Pro: Italy Louis Prette[95]
Pro-Am: Italy Emanuele-Maria Tabacchi[96]
Pro-Am: Lebanon Tani Hanna[97]
Am: Denmark Henrik Jansen[98]
Pro: United States Cooper MacNeil[99]
Pro-Am: United States Neil Gehani[100]
Pro-Am: United States Mark Issa[101]
Am: United States Bradley Horstmann[102]
Pro-Am: Italy Philippe Prette[103] Pro-Am: Japan Makoto Fujiwara[104]
Am: South Korea Andrew Moon[105]
report report report

Cost

A brand new 458 Challenge will cost around $300,000 in the US. The only options available on the car is the color and size of the passenger seat. All new 458C's come delivered on rain tyres. Racing in the Ferrari Challenge North America series will cost roughly around $15,000–$20,000 per race weekend if the car is run by a dealer team, which they in most cases are. This includes crew support, a fee to Ferrari North America, transportation and living costs plus additional spares. The fee to FNA is approximately $2,000–$3,000 which gives the competitors fuel and tires. Privateer entries can be run at a slightly smaller cost as there will be no dealer fee included.[106]

One-make racing

The cockpit of a F430 Challenge carries only basic racing necessities.
The Ferrari 360 Challenge was the Ferrari Challenge racer replacing the F355 Challenge.

The Ferrari Challenge uses a single model from the manufacturer's road car range, suitably modified to make them safe for competition use. The lineage began with the 348 Berlinetta in 1993, followed by its successor, the F355 Berlinetta, and the 360 Modena was introduced in 2000. The F355 remained eligible during 2000 and 2001.[2] The 360CS (Challenge Stradale) version was the first competition-orientated version to be marketed to the public. The F430 Challenge was phased in during a transitional year in 2006, with the same being the case for the 458 Challenge in 2011.[107] The F430 introduced carbon-ceramic brake discs for the first time and gained 80bhp over the 360CS, which has reduced lap times to approximately three seconds shy of the F430 GT2.[3] The current 458 Challenge is the first to have driver controlled aids such as traction control, stability management and adjustable ABS brakes.[108]

Ferrari Challenge racers

The 488 Challenge is the most recent in a line of Ferraris used in the Ferrari Challenge series. The lineage is as follows:[109]

All the cars used in the series are track only, although some 360 Challenges have been made road legal in Australia, with extensive modifications. However, due to new legislation, this is not possible anymore. The 360 Challenge used in the series should not be confused with the 360 Challenge Stradale, which was a road-legal, track day oriented version of the 360, similar to the F430 Scuderia.

Racing simulators based on the series

In 1999, Sega's producer Yu Suzuki created Ferrari F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa, a video game based on the Ferrari F355 Challenge series.

In 2008, System 3's Mark Cale created Ferrari Challenge: Trofeo Pirelli, the official game of the Ferrari Challenge featuring the licensed Ferrari F430 Challenge Italian, European and North American 2007 series.

In 2012, Ferrari Challenge appeared in Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends.

See also

References

http://www.motorsport.com/roadracing/news/fcs-mike-zoi-wins-2007-championship/

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External links