The dark and tumultuous clouds did not overbear the 29 drivers of the North American Ferrari Challenge as they raced along the high banks and 12 turns of the Daytona International Speedway.
Beginning today’s race in pole position was Ricardo Perez from Ferrari of Houston. Following his world champion title from the Finali Mondiali last fall in Abu Dhabi, the Mexican continues to showcase his strength and talent, battling his ground as front runner. After a constant battle with Canadian Emmanuel Anassis from Ferrari of Ontario, Perez ultimately claimed his victory and finished first overall and in his Trofeo Pirelli class. Anassis finished a mere 1.349 seconds behind Perez in second place. Gregory Romanelli of The Collection, who had today’s fastest lap at 1:49.955, finished third.
New to the series this year is the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, with 12 drivers racing in this category. Finishing on top of the podium steps for this division was James Weiland of Ferrari of San Francisco. Standing in second place was Robert Herjavec from Ferrari of Ontario and closing the winners circle was Arthur Romanelli from The Collection. And just like his brother, Arthur held today’s fastest lap record for his division at 1:50:403.
As for the Coppa Shell class, some new faces stood on top of the podium steps. Jean-Claude from Boardwalk Ferrari claimed his first victory in his category. Saada was in the chase with Dan O’Neal of Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale throughout the race. O’Neal finished second and Chris Cagnazzi Ferrari of Long Island closed in third.
Marking the season’s start, the Ferrari Challenge plays support to the 24 Hours of Daytona this year, where five 458 Italias will compete for victory in the GTLM and GTD class. Tomorrow’s second Ferrari Challenge race will be held at 9:35 AM EST with the 24 Hours preceding at 2:10 PM EST.