ANASSIS DOMINATES FERRARI CHALLENGE AT MONT-TREMBLANT (MONT-TREMBLANT, QUEBEC, CANADA, June 18) Defending champion Emmanual Anassis completely dominated the Ferrari Challenge races here this weekend, taking pole position and leading every lap...
ANASSIS DOMINATES FERRARI CHALLENGE AT MONT-TREMBLANT
(MONT-TREMBLANT, QUEBEC, CANADA, June 18) Defending champion Emmanual Anassis completely dominated the Ferrari Challenge races here this weekend, taking pole position and leading every lap of the races on both Saturday and Sunday. Anassis is a Montreal resident, and his pair of wins were very popular with the Quebec crowd. To complete the domination, the wins moved Anassis into the lead of the 2006 championship.
Anassis, racing for the Shelton Ferrari team, started his weekend by qualifying his Ferrari 430 Challenge on pole for the 26 car field, with Lawrence Stroll (Ferrari of Quebec) alongside on the front row. A class for the older 360 Challenge racers was led by another Canadian driver, Michael Louli (Ferrari of Ontario); Tony Schwartz (Auto Gallery) qualified second among the 360s.
Anassis took the lead at the green flag, with Nick Boulle (Boardwalk Ferrari) slotting into second from his fourth grid position. Stroll, Joel Quaid (Ferrari of Orange County) Steve Goldman (Auto Gallery), and Mike Zoi (Shelton Ferrari) swapped the next several positions among themselves for much of the 30 minute race, but Stroll took third when it counted, and joined Anassis and Boulle on the podium. Louli, Schwartz, and Jimmy Pugliese (Ferrari of Long Island) took the 360 podium spots.
Finishing positions from the first race were used to set the grid for Sunday's 45 minute race, so Anassis was again on pole, followed by Boulle, Stroll, Quaid and Goldman. Anassis again took off at the start, but half a dozen drivers played "hot potato" with the other top positions. John Horejsi (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) moved from tenth to fourth on the first lap and joined the battle as well. Stroll was pushed off the road, Horejsi spun, Boulle given a "stop and go" penalty for avoidable contact. Jay Lee (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) was in second place at one point, but went off the track trying to pass a backmarker.
Anassis was never really challenged, and by the finish Goldman was solidly in second. Horejsi had dropped back as far as tenth after his spin, but fought back to third and the final podium spot at the end. Stroll and Boulle rounded out the top five.
A special award was presented by Bose and Ferrari North America to Roberto Fata, for best displaying the spirit of the Challenge. The rules and spirit encourage sportsmanlike driving, rather than winning at all costs.
The Challenge stays in Quebec for the next race, supporting the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on June 25th.
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari North America. Drivers compete in specially built racing versions of the Ferrari 430 and 360 Modena, with preparation and race support handled by teams formed by authorized Ferrari dealers in North America. Preparation rules are very specific, and the series is intended to emphasize driver skill among lady and gentleman drivers. Sponsorship and support for the series comes from Motorola, Bose, Piaggio Aero, Pirelli, and Shell.