Mugello, 10 November
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Mugello, 10 November –Italy’s Giosue Rizzuto (Coppa Shell) and Austria’s Philipp Baron (Trofeo Pirelli) are the Ferrari Challenge world champions. On a day that served as a tribute to Felipe Massa and featured a fantastic crowd of around fifteen thousand at the Mugello circuit, who braved the rain that fell for much of the day, the Prancing Horse one-make series certainly lived up to expectation in terms of the excitement provided by the last races of the meeting.
In the Coppa Shell, most of that excitement came right at the very end. Rizzuto, who had already done very well in the previous day’s races, closed down David Gostner, who seemed to be on course to repeat his feat of yesterday when he won the European title. Gostner was apparently mastering the situation on a very wet track and had built up a lead of over 10 seconds on Rizzuto, who had started from pole. A few backmarkers had allowed Rizzuto to close, but then Gostner pulled out a bit of a gap again. Then, at the end, Rizzuto swooped into Gostner’s slipstream and got past on the very last lap, with an aggressive move, which the Stewards felt was within the rules. On the third step of the championship podium was the German Adamski, who thus made up for some of the disappointment at losing out on the title in the last race yesterday.
Experience got the better of youth in the Trofeo Pirelli. The fight for victory featured Baron and Mancinelli, with Baron coming out on top in the end after an exciting cut and thrust between the two men in the early stages. After the obligatory pit stops, Baron retook the lead and kept it to the end, pulling away from Mancinelli. The second placed man also had to keep an eye in the mirrors on Gai and Chukanov, who were closing in, while fighting between themselves for the entire race. Mancinelli took second by half a second from Gai and one ahead of Chukanov, proving how closely matched these drivers were. Worthy of note, Pasin Lathouras’ performance, as the best of the APAC series drivers, who finished seventh overall today: not bad for a 19 year old on his debut at a very demanding track like Mugello!
The 2013 season thus ended in the best way possible, with the guaranteed excitement of racing in front of a large crowd. As from tomorrow, here at the Mugello circuit, it will be time to think seriously about next year. Ferrari’s sporting owners will in fact get the chance to test the 458 Challenge Evoluzione, the car to be used in next year’s edition of the most enthralling one-make series in the world.