Maranello, 18 January 2010 --Once again this year, the Monza National Circuit will host the opening round of this season's Italian and European series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, which takes place over the weekend of 9-10 April.
Competitors in the Prancing Horse marque's one-make series will be embarking on a season that features many significant changes, most obvious of which is the fact that the 458 Challenge car makes its debut alongside the F430 Challenge.
As from this season, the length of the races changes, with a first one lasting 25 minutes and the second extending to 35. The only exception to this rule will be the unique round at the French Le Mans circuit, at the same meeting as the legendary 24 Hours race, which takes place over the weekend of 11 June. On this occasion, entrants in both the Italian and European series will tackle just one race with separate classifications, lasting 45 minutes. With the introduction of the new car, the classification will again feature the two categories for the Trofeo Pirelli and the Coppa Shell for drivers running the 458 Challenge, while there will now be just a single category for those entered in the Trofeo Pirelli driving the F430 Challenge. Still the same is the timetable that includes two 30 minute qualifying sessions (in addition to the sixty minute Free Practice sessions,) in which the first qualifying session decides the grid for Race 1 and the second for Race 2. As in past years, for crews made up of two drivers, the sum of the points scored by both will count towards the final classification. In addition, at each race there will be one point given for pole position, (or to both drivers in the case of a crew of two,) one for the fastest race lap and one for each crew on the grid in every Race and Class.
The famous Ferrari one-make series is now in its nineteenth year and, in addition to the usual three series -- Italy, Europe and North America -- for this year, there is another for those owners based in the Asia Pacific region, who will contest a five race series, starting with a round at the Japanese Fuji circuit.