Ferrari Challenge NA completes opening race weekend at VIR

The opening round of the 2021 Ferrari Challenge North America season is complete at Virginia International Raceway.

Trofeo Pirelli - Race 1

Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari of Westlake) eased to the overall win in the first Trofeo Pirelli race of the weekend, easing away from what was otherwise an immense race with action at every turn.  And as the only entrant in the Trofeo Pirelli category, he also was of course the victor in that category as well.  Behind MacNeil, it was an all out scrap as the wet conditions added a significant element of uncertainty for the drivers.

The first victim of that uncertainty was Jordan Workman (Ferrari of Central Florida) who spun in the opening lap, but was able to free himself and pit for repairs.  He rejoined the action two laps down but right in the middle of an epic scrap as Bret Curtis (Ferrari of Westlake) acted as the cork in the bottle, developing a tremendous line of 6 Ferraris behind him including Workman.  A number of cars made their attempts to get by, but it wasn’t until Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) completed the pass did the rest of the drivers begin to work their way by.   From there it was chaos as drivers worked to find the grip and a path by Bret Curtis, with some drivers successful and others spinning off onto the wet grass surrounding the circuit.

By the time it all shook out 30 minutes later, the Trofeo Pirelli category was led home by Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Ft Lauderdale), followed closely by the Trofeo Pirelli Am-2 winner Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari).  Just behind them was first-time Ferrari Challenge driver Keysin Chen (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) and then Brian Davis (Ferrari of Palm Beach) rounding out the Trofeo Pirelli Am-2 podium.  Barry Zekelman (Ferrari of Ontario) claimed second in the Trofeo Pirelli Am-1 category followed by Dave Musial (Ferrari of Lake Forest) in third.

Coppa Shell - Race 2

Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) lept out to the front of the second Coppa Shell race of the weekend and never looked back, winning by over 30 seconds by the time the checkered flag fell 30 minutes later.  Further back, Yahn Bernier (Ferrari of Seattle) was at the head of another 5 car train, that spent all race trading positions, but come the end of it Bernier came 2nd in Coppa Shell, besting Chris Aitken (Ferrari of Houston) who finished 3rd.  In the Coppa Shell AM category, Brandon Kruse (Ferrari of Central Florida) took his second win and certainly established himself as the class favorite.  Behind him, buy only three seconds, was Lance Cawley (Ferrari of Atlanta) securing his second podium of the season and Roy Carrol (Foreign Cars Italia) rounded out the podium in third.

Trofeo Pirelli - Race 2

The wet conditions from the morning had largely ended, leaving the Trofeo Pirelli cars to return to the grid for their second race of the day on slick Pirelli tires.  Cooper MacNeil (Ferrari of Westlake) made an excellent getaway to establish himself in the overall lead, a position he would retain throughout the 30 minutes of racing.  In an effort to push Cooper, however, outside pole sitter Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Ft. Laudrdale) made an ambitious lunge around the outside at Turn 1, but ultimately fell onto the grass and tumbled down the order. 

From there, it was an all-out scrap as the entire middle of the grid traded positions for the duration of the 30 minute contest, notably including a tap from Justin Wetherill (Ferrari of Central Florida) into Barry Zekelman (Ferrari of Ontario) causing them both to spin, triggering a caution and ultimately not allowing either to finish the race.  That brought Martin Burrowes right back into it, though at the restart, MacNeil managed the gap well and took off from the pursuing pack. 

At the end of the 30-minute race, Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) led home the pack, for 2nd overall, and first in Trofeo Pirelli AM-2 with fellow Am-2 driver John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island) directly on his tail and Brian Davis (Ferrari of Palm Beach) rounding out the podium in third.  In Trofeo Pirelli AM-1 it was Neil Gehani (Continental Autosport) taking the win ahead of Martin Burrowes in second with Dave Musial (Ferrari of Lake Forest) completing the Trofeo Pirelli Am-1 podium.

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