PETERSON SWEEPS FERRARI CHALLENGE AT FONTANA (FONTANA, CA, April 3.) Doug Peterson has a winning record in the Ferrari Challenge series, but his two victories at the California Speedway this weekend were his most impressive yet. Peterson, ...
PETERSON SWEEPS FERRARI CHALLENGE AT FONTANA
(FONTANA, CA, April 3.) Doug Peterson has a winning record in the Ferrari Challenge series, but his two victories at the California Speedway this weekend were his most impressive yet. Peterson, driving for the Shelton Ferrari team, took pole position and led every lap of both races, run in conjunction with the Grand American Sports Car Series' Ferrari Maserati 400 at the California Speedway. The pair of wins stamps Peterson, who has been a consistent front runner in the series, as an early favorite for the 2005 championship.
Peterson may have had an easy time in the lead, but there was substantial competition for every position behind him. Kurt Buchwald (Ferrari of Washington), in his sophomore season in the Challenge, had qualified second for the first race. He faced a constant battle from the father and son team of Joel and Alex Quaid, and Michael Louli, a Canadian racing for the Ferrari of Long Island team. The Quaids, both from Southern California and racing for the local Auto Gallery team, were favorites for the California fans. The race-long battle among these four drivers was decided with Buchwald and Joel Quaid in second and third places sharing the podium with Peterson.
Results from Race One were used to set the starting grid for the 45 minute Race Two on Sunday morning. Peterson once again took an immediate lead; Buchwald briefly challenged, but then began dropping back through the field with tire problem. A stop to change the tire dropped him from further contention. The Quaids were again near the front, again joined by Louli and by Mike Zoi, Peterson's Shelton Ferrari teammate in his first Challenge race. Zoi briefly held a podium position but was demoted to fourth at the end. Peterson, Alex Quaid, and Joel Quaid finished one-two-three, the first father/son podium in the twelve year history of the Ferrari Challenge.
In addition to the traditional trophies, the Quaids and new Challenge driver Steve Pruitt were awarded helicopter rides over the track in an Agusta helicopter.
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari/Maserati North America. Drivers 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. Sponsorship and support for the series comes from Pirelli, Shell, Bose, and Ener1 Group.
The next race in the 2005 Ferrari Challenge will be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on May 14-15.