FCS: Indianapolis: Event preview

Tight Ferrari Challenge race to continue at Indianapolis. INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2002 - For the third consecutive year, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a support event for the SAP ...

Tight Ferrari Challenge race to continue at Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2002 - For the third consecutive year, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a support event for the SAP United States Grand Prix.

A round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will take place on the Speedway's 2.606-mile Grand Prix circuit during the SAP United States Grand Prix at 11 a.m. (EST) Sept. 29, the last race before the Formula One race.

In the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli race last September, Steve Earle of Garden Ridge, Texas, scored his second consecutive victory at Indianapolis.

"Our series' third appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is something everyone involved in the Ferrari Challenge series - drivers and officials alike - has been looking forward to," said Maria Homann of Ferrari North America. "We want to build the tradition of Ferrari Challenge racing at Indianapolis alongside the growing tradition of Formula One racing at this historic facility. Our drivers are honored to compete in front of this immense gathering of Formula One and Ferrari fans."

Darius Grala of Ferrari of Orange County leads Doug Peterson of Shelton Sports Cars, 177-163, in the series standings entering this event. The Indianapolis round is the second-to-last race this season.

There are no paid professional drivers allowed in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, and all drivers must own their race cars. While many of the top drivers in the series compete at professional levels elsewhere, none can have auto racing as their primary source of income. There is no prize money in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli - at stake is a trophy and pride.

The series, now in its ninth year, competes across the United States from California Speedway to Watkins Glen International and even as far away as Misano, Italy. The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli also visits the Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal, which makes it the only support series to race at both North American Formula One events.

The 360 Challenge cars are factory-built racing versions of the 360 Modena, Ferrari's latest mid-engine sports car. The racecars are fitted with full safety equipment, modified suspension, Brembo racing brakes and Pirelli racing slick tires on BBS wheels.

The 3.6-liter V8 engine, producing more than 400 horsepower, is unmodified. The cars are also equipped with a gear-changing mechanism modeled after the one formerly used in Ferrari's Formula One race cars. The drivers upshift and downshift by pulling on paddles behind the steering wheel instead of reaching for a shift lever on the floor.

Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli cars will produce top speeds nearing 170 mph on the Grand Prix circuit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Series Road racing
Drivers Darius Grala , Doug Peterson