Darius Grala wins two more Ferrari Challenge races. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, July 28. The battle for the 2002 North American Ferrari Challenge continues to be a two-man race between Doug Peterson and Darius Grala. The pair had problems...
Darius Grala wins two more Ferrari Challenge races.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, July 28. The battle for the 2002 North American Ferrari Challenge continues to be a two-man race between Doug Peterson and Darius Grala. The pair had problems at the first event of the season at Fontana, California, but from that point one or the other has won every race in the series. At the 2.65 mile Le Circuit at Mont Tremblant this weekend Grala swept both races, reclaiming the championship points lead from Peterson.
Grala had qualified on pole ahead of Peterson, who drives for the Shelton Sports Cars team, and led into the first corner of Saturday's race, but lost the lead to his former teammate later in the lap. Peterson led until the 12th lap when he spun, suffering mild damage to his Ferrari racer. Grala, part of the 2002 Ferrari of Orange County team, regained the lead and held it to the end of the 30 minute race. Brent Martini, Grala's teammate driving his first Challenge race, finished second with Jim Kenton (Ferrari of Washington) completing the podium. Michael Louli, third in the championship prior to the race, was eliminated in an early incident.
The grid for Sunday's 45 minute race was set by Saturday's results. Grala again started from the pole, but this time leading a field fitted with Pirelli rain tires following a brief but heavy rain shower. Grala maintained his lead for 12 laps, but his tires were going away on the drying track. Martini was in second and thought he would be faster, so Grala allowed his teammate to pass on the 13th lap. Kenton was able to briefly get past Grala for second, but lost the place as the race entered its final laps. Martini was still leading Grala, but slowed on the last corner of the last lap (reminiscent of the Austrian GP controversy) allowing Grala to retake the lead and the win. Martini and Kenton were again second and third.
Peterson's Saturday spin had been costly, as he had to start at the back of Sunday's grid. He charged through the field to battle with Allie Ash (Ferrari of Washington), just behind the leaders. After several corners of side by side racing Ash finally finished fourth, with Peterson immediately on his tail in fifth.
Participants in the Ferrari Challenge 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. The next race for the North American Ferrari Challenge will be in support of the United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on September 29th.