PETERSON, ANASSIS RESUME FERRARI CHALLENGE BATTLE AT LAS VEGAS (LAS VEGAS, NV, May 15) Emmanuel Anassis and Doug Peterson have been trading wins in the Ferrari Challenge for the past two years, resulting in Anassis winning the 2004...
PETERSON, ANASSIS RESUME FERRARI CHALLENGE BATTLE AT LAS VEGAS
(LAS VEGAS, NV, May 15) Emmanuel Anassis and Doug Peterson have been trading wins in the Ferrari Challenge for the past two years, resulting in Anassis winning the 2004 Championship. Anassis missed the opening races of the 2005 season -- Peterson won both -- but the two drivers resumed their battle at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. Peterson won on Saturday and Anassis on Sunday, but circumstances prevented the head-to-head battles expected from the pair, who are now teammates on the Shelton Ferrari team.
Peterson topped qualifying, his pole lap over .4 second faster than Kurt Buchwald who shared the front row. Anassis was further back, but his crew chose to repair a halfshaft, requiring the defending champion to start in last position in the 21 car field.
Peterson took an immediate lead in the 30 minute race as Buchwald fell back behind Mike Zoi and Bill Jennings. Anassis had passed four cars on the first lap, and continued to gain places until Buchwald hit a barrier, bringing out the Ferrari 430 safety car. The 30 minute race finished under the yellow flag. Peterson, Zoi, and Jimmy Pugliese credited with the podium positions. Anassis finished fourth, the final yellow ending any chance for him to catch Peterson.
Peterson's Saturday win gave him the pole for Sunday's 45 minute race. Zoi passed Pugliese and was then passed by Anassis, who moved into second place followed by Patrice Brisbois and John Horejsi. On lap 23 Horejsi crashed, causing a lengthy caution period to retrieve his car. Peterson pitted from the lead as the green flag came out, an alternator failure ending his race.
Anassis took an easy win, with past 355 Challenge champion Phillip Shearer finishing second and Steve Pruitt, in only his second Challenge weekend, rounding out the podium in third. Peterson maintains his lead in the 2005 Challenge Championship, over Alex Quaid. Anassis' victory has moved him into third place.
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari/Maserati North America. Drivers compete in specially built racing versions of the Ferrari 360 Modena, with preparation and race support handled by teams formed by authorized Ferrari dealers in North America. Sponsorship and support for the series comes from Pirelli, Shell, Bose, and Ener1 Group.
The next race in the 2005 Ferrari Challenge will be in support of the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, on June 12.