Anassis, Kenton Trade Ferrari Challenge Wins LIME ROCK, CT (July 10) -- 2004 points leader Emmanuel Anassis and 2003 Champion Jim Kenton traded wins in the Ferrari Challenge races held as part of Lime Rock Park's "Ferrari Maserati Racing Days"...
Anassis, Kenton Trade Ferrari Challenge Wins
LIME ROCK, CT (July 10) -- 2004 points leader Emmanuel Anassis and 2003 Champion Jim Kenton traded wins in the Ferrari Challenge races held as part of Lime Rock Park's "Ferrari Maserati Racing Days" this weekend. Anassis won the preliminary Friday race, his fourth straight win, but lost out to Kenton in Saturday's finale.
Anassis had qualified his Ferrari 360 ( prepared by the Ferrari of Quebec team) on pole, his lap of 59.1 seconds just .1 quicker than Kenton. Kurt Buchwald and Jeff Segal shared the second row; the first four qualifiers all breaking the one-minute barrier at the 1.54 mile track. Kenton and Buchwald are teammates on the Ferrari of Washington squad; Segal's racer is prepared by Algar Ferrari.
At the green Anassis took the lead which he maintained for every lap of the 30 minute race, but his victory was far from assured. Segal got a particularly strong start, and both he and Kenton were never far behind Anassis, applying continuous pressure to the leader. Kenton made an "all or nothing" move to pass Anassis late in the race, but it didn't work; a half-spin dropped him to third. Segal was on Anassis' bumper at the checker; the official margin of victory only .2 second. Kenton's efforts did produce the fastest race lap.
Anassis, Segal, and Kenton took the podium spots, followed by Buchwald in fourth and Todd Morici in fifth. Morici had a particularly tough weekend, having to switch to a different Ferrari 360 Challenge following a practice accident which damaged his Motorola-sponsored entry.
Friday's results were used to set the grid for Saturday's 45 minute race, with Segal starting alongside Anassis in the front row. Segal briefly took the lead with an outside pass in Turn One -- Lime Rock's famed "Big Bend" -- but was unable to hold his line and Anassis was back in the lead by the second turn. A few laps later Segal bobbled; he only lost a couple of seconds, but that was enough for Kenton to get by into second. Kenton put Anassis under heavy pressure, and Anassis spun coming onto the front straight at exactly the halfway point of the race.
Anassis' error allowed both Kenton and Segal past. Anassis was able to catch and pass Segal to move into second, but Kenton was easily able to hold the lead for the final 22 laps, and took the win by just over four seconds. Segal suffered mechanical problems and failed to finish. Bill Jennings II, a second-generation Ferrari Challenge competitor, completed the podium in his Miller Motorcars entry. This was Jennings' first podium in the series, and was earned on his birthday. Martin Burrows (Ferrari of Quebec) and Alfred Caiola (Wide World of Cars) took fourth and fifth places respectively.
In post-race technical inspection a minor technical infraction was found on Anassis' car. The Montreal resident retained his second place finish but received no points for the position, and his team was also placed on technical probation for the balance of the season. Anassis still maintains an almost-insurmountable lead for the 2004 Championship.
During podium ceremonies "Spirit of the Challenge" awards were presented by Challenge sponsors Bose and Piaggio Aero to drivers Alfred Caiola and Jeff Segal, to first-time 360 driver Charlie Arnott and his family (both Charlie and son Charlie Jr. drive in the Shell Historic Challenge as well), and to Todd Morici's crew for their efforts in preparing an unused car for Morici to race.
The 2004 North American Ferrari Challenge is presented by Motorola. Additional sponsors for the series include Pirelli, Shell, Bose, Girard-Perregaux, and Piaggio Aero. Drivers in the Ferrari 360 Challenge 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.
Two more events remain in the 2004 North American Ferrari Challenge season. The Ferraris will race as part of the Ferrari Club of America Annual Meeting at Monterey, California, on August 19, and complete the season at the World Finals in Italy in October.