INDIANAPOLIS, IND. October 1. Steve Earle, the defending North American Ferrari Challenge Champion, dominated the Challenge race supporting the SAP U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 30th. Earle, a Texas physician,...
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. October 1. Steve Earle, the defending North American Ferrari Challenge Champion, dominated the Challenge race supporting the SAP U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 30th. Earle, a Texas physician, qualified over one second ahead of the second fastest driver, then led every lap of the 13 lap race to win by over 16 seconds. Earle, who also won the 2000 Challenge race at Indianapolis, set fastest race lap as well.
Sixteen cars were entered for the invitational Challenge race, which does not count toward the 2001 Championship. Steve Rebeil from Shelton Sports Cars had fastest time in the single practice session, but the rest of the event belonged to Earle, whose Ferrari 360 Challenge was prepared by Ferrari of Houston. Rebeil, who had qualified fourth fastest, finished second behind Earle in the race. Doug Peterson, Rebeil's teammate at Shelton Sports Cars, had been second fastest qualifier, but a spin on the first lap eliminated him from further competition.
The fight for third place in the race was the most competitive of the day. J.D. Williamson II (Ferrari of Washington) started third, but was passed by Bill Rand, Earle's teammate from Ferrari of Houston. Tony Gaples (Lake Forest Sports Cars) passed Rand, but Rand retook the position before spinning off the track. Gaples then spun allowing Ken Rice in another Houston 360 into third, but Gaples battled back to take the position at the checkered flag. Paul Frame (Ferrari of Houston), Eddy Aslanian (Scottsdale Ferrari) and Rice rounded out the top six.
Jean Todt, Ferrari Sporting Director, presented the trophies to Earle, Rebeil,and Gaples.
The final races in the 2001 North American Ferrari Challenge championship are scheduled as part of the Challenge World Finals, at Monza, Italy on October 20/21.