Monza, 2001-10-21 - The main theme of Sunday at Monza, the final day of the Ferrari Challenge, is one of spectacle, primarily with the display given by the Formula 1 drivers and then with the arrival on track of the competitors for the...
Monza, 2001-10-21 - The main theme of Sunday at Monza, the final day of the Ferrari Challenge, is one of spectacle, primarily with the display given by the Formula 1 drivers and then with the arrival on track of the competitors for the consolation final of the challenge, better known as the "mondialino." It is open to all those runners from the series from all over the world, who finished just behind the leaders. Pole position for this event went to Francescon, with Masselli alongside him.
There was a fight right from the start and it was the Austrian, Klaus Engelhorn, who took the lead. Behind him came Givanni Cappelletti and the Swiss, Loris Kessel who can boast to have driven in Formula 1 in the past at the wheel of an Ensign. There was plenty of excitement and overtaking with victory finally going to Engelhorn, followed by Kessel and the Frenchman Francois Labhardt. Rounding off the day, Rubens Barrichello was on the podium to hand out the prizes. Cappelletti was finally disqualified for failing to see the flag ordering him in for a stop-go penalty for various misdemenours.
The main event of the day was yet to come. The world final fo the 360 Modena category was run in torrential rain. In contention for the title of Challenge World Champion, were Sandro Montani on pole, with Andrea Belluzzi alongside him, with Linos and Blancardi on the second row. The outgoing champion, Stefano Livio was way back on the fifth row. Just two laps into the race, Belluzzi made the most of a mistake from Montani to take the lead, but on the same lap drama unfolded.
France's Barde hit Dario Caso at the first Lesmo and the latter's car began to leak fluid, making the track very slippery. Several cars ended up spinning off and that meant the safety car had to be brought out. But no sooner was the race under way again, than the rain came down again in a complete deluge. It was so bad, that the cars had to be sent back to the pits to fit rain tyres and the final classification was made up by adding up the times from the two legs.
The Ferrari party experienced its highpoint, with the demonstration of the title winning F2001. On track were Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Luca Badoer, putting on a show. All three men did a few laps and stopped for a pit stop.
The grand finale of the demonstration was the most spectacular moment with burnouts, spins and doughnuts in front of an enthusiastic crowd. On the main straight, the traditional Ferrari Heart emblem was displayed; always a feature of any event at Monza and this time it was unfurled by the mechanics from the test team. President Luca di Montezemolo, Jean Todt and the drivers all saluted and waved to the crowds, thanking them for all their support over the past few years.