Danville, VA, April 28. Doug Peterson, racing a Ferrari 360 Challenge for the Shelton Sports Cars team, continued to dominate the Ferrari Challenge event at historic Virginia International Raceway today. Peterson was relatively unchallenged for...
Danville, VA, April 28. Doug Peterson, racing a Ferrari 360 Challenge for the Shelton Sports Cars team, continued to dominate the Ferrari Challenge event at historic Virginia International Raceway today. Peterson was relatively unchallenged for his second win of the weekend, but behind him there was substantial action among the Trofeo Pirelli grid.
Peterson's Saturday win gave him the pole for today's 45 minute race, with J. D. Williamson (Ferrari of Washington) starting alongside on the front row. Jose Luis Valera (Ferrari of Houston) and Michael Pontoriero (Ferrari of Long Island) comprised the second row, having finished third and fourth in the preliminary race.. Peterson took an immediate lead at the start, but Valera got past Williamson for second. The order remained Peterson-Valera-Williamson for several laps, but a flat tire left Williamson stranded at Turn Four, and promoted Ponteriero to third. The young driver moved up to second as Valera slowed with mechanical problems, but in one of the best battles of the race Darius Grala (Ferrari of Orange County) passed Pontoriero with only three laps remaining. Grala's drive, from ninth place on the grid, earned him the "Outstanding Achievement" award, presented by VIR. Pontoriero's third place was his first podium finish, in only his second year in the Ferrari Challenge. Peterson and Valera are now tied with two wins apiece in the first four races of the 2002 Ferrari Challenge season.
This is the second year the Ferrari Challenge series has appeared at Virginia International Raceway, which was opened in 1957. Closed for many years, the 3.27 mile track was reopened in 1999 as a motorsports country club.
The Ferrari Challenge cars will next race at Road Atlanta in Georgia, on May 10-12, third event of the eight-event season. The Ferrari Challenge will again serve as support race for both the Canadian and United States Grands Prix during 2002.