Darius Grala takes first Ferrari Challenge win BRASELTON, GA., May 12. Darius Grala, driving his Ferrari 360 for the Ferrari of Orange County team, took his first Challenge win today at Road Atlanta. Grala had started second, on the front row...
Darius Grala takes first Ferrari Challenge win
Grala had started second, on the front row alongside Doug Peterson (Shelton Sports Cars); the grid had been set by finishing positions in Saturday's race. The 45 minute race began as an exact replay of the Saturday event, with Grala taking the lead in Turn One of the first lap, and Peterson drafting past one lap later to regain the lead. Peterson led the next 20 laps on the 2.54 mile circuit, including one restart after the safety car was brought out while a car was removed from one of the gravel traps. Two laps after that restart Grala was again able to get past Peterson, and held on for the win. His margin of victory was only .327 second.
Michael Greenfield, Grala's Orange County teammate, Michael Pontoriero (Ferrari of Long Island), Jose Luis Valera (Ferrari of Houston), and Michael Louli (Ferrari of Ontario) had a race-long battle for third through sixth places. Greenfield, Pontoriero and Valera each held the position at one time with Valera third at the finish., A mechanical problem on the last lap dropped Pontoriero from fourth to ninth at the checkered flag.
Grala's victory broke a three-win streak for Peterson, but Peterson's win on Saturday and second place on Sunday gave him the points lead in the Trofeo Pirelli championship over Valera, who had two earlier wins at the California Speedway.
The next event for the Ferrari Challenge drivers will be at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, as part of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend on June 9th.